Wrestler Jack Maida advances to NCAA Championships
Sophomore finished fifth in his weight class at EIWA Championships
The American University wrestling team competed at the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championships on March 4-5 at the University of Pennsylvania.
Ten wrestlers from American competed as one of 17 schools at the EIWA Championships this past weekend. American’s representatives were 125-pound sophomore Maximilian Leete, 133-pound sophomore Jack Maida, 125-pound freshman Raymond Lopez, 149-pound redshirt senior Patrick Ryan, 157-pound redshirt sophomore Jack Nies, 165-pound freshman Caleb Campos, 174-pound redshirt freshman Lucas White, 184-pound graduate student Colin Shannon, 197-pound redshirt junior Connor Bourne and heavyweight redshirt junior Will Jarrell.
Leete began his day against Micah Roes of Binghamton. Roes defeated Leete 3-2 at Bender Arena on Feb. 17 and then defeated Leete again at the EIWA Championship 6-0. Leete then advanced into the consolation round of eight where he achieved his 12th pin of the season, which ties him for fourth all-time at AU. However, Leete’s competition ended shortly after as he fell in a major decision of 12-1.
Maida was pinned by no. 31 ranked Brendan Ferretti of Navy in the round of 16, but defeated both of his opponents in the consolation round of eight. On the second day of competition, he faced off against no. 25 ranked Kurt Phipps of Bucknell. Maida pulled off the upset in the 15-9 bout, scoring the most points he ever has as an Eagle. Maida fell again to Ferretti in the consolation semifinals, but he secured his trip to Tulsa for the NCAA Championships, winning 6-3 to earn fifth place in the 133-pound weight class.
Lopez also fell in the round of 16, but turned it around in the consolation round of eight as he pinned his opponent with only 18 seconds remaining in the bout after he already led 16-4. However, his day ended with a loss in his next bout.
Ryan’s day began in the round of 32 where he won by injury default. He then fell to no. 12 ranked Doug Zapf of Penn in a major decision. He was successful in his first bout of the consolation round of eight. However, he fell in his second bout of the round, ending his tournament.
Nies started out with a loss in the round of 16, but he then won both of his bouts in the consolation round of eight. He advanced to the second day of competition where he won his consolation round of four in sudden victory overtime. He fell in the consolation semifinals 8-1, and then lost again in the fifth place bout. Nies finished sixth in his weight class after being seeded ninth.
Campos lost in the round of 16 in a close bout by a score of 5-4. He then won his first bout in the consolation round of eight by a major decision of 13-2. However, he fell to no. 22 ranked Evan Barczak of Drexel by a score of 5-3 in his second bout of the round.
White began his tournament in the round of 16 with a loss and then lost again in a major decision in the consolation round of eight.
Shannon’s round of 16 bout resulted in a loss, and he was once again dealt a loss in the consolation round of eight.
Bourne started out with a loss in the round of 16, but secured a win in his first bout of the consolation round of eight. He was eliminated from competition after falling in a major decision in his subsequent bout.
Jarrell fell in the round of 16, but won in his next bout in a major decision by a score of 11-2. He was eliminated in his second consolation round of eight bout, and his season ended.
Each conference and weight class have different numbers of automatic spots at the NCAA Championships. Maida’s specific weight class, 133 pounds in the EIWA, has five spots at the NCAA Championship, meaning he automatically qualified by coming in fifth in the weight class at the EIWA Championship. Nies finished sixth at 157 pounds, but his weight class only gets three automatic bids from the EIWA Championship to the NCAA Championship. There are four at-large bids for the 157-pound class available, but those wrestlers were drawn from a total of seven conferences, and just one from the EIWA made it.
No. 32 Maida will represent American as he takes on No. 33 McGwire Midkiff of North Dakota State University on Thursday, March 16 in the first round of the NCAA Championships.
This article was edited by Delaney Hoke and Nina Heller. Copy editing done by Isabelle Kravis, Natasha LaChac and Sophia Rocha.