Etzel Guarantees All-America Status; Spearman Earns NCAA Win As Freshman
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Washington & Jefferson College junior Josh Etzel (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth-Forward) recorded a pair of victories to guarantee himself All-America status on Friday at the 2013 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships hosted at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.
Etzel (36-5) posted a 2-1 record on Friday and will wrestle at least two matches on Saturday. The top eight finishers in each weight class earn All-America honors and Etzel can reach as high as third place, but no lower than eighth. His second victory of the day was the 36th of his season which ties all-time wins leader Kevin DeJuliis '03 and Taylor Potts' 12 for the school's single-season record.
Etzel will face top-seeded Elias Larson of Trine in his first bout Saturday. Larson was upset in the quaterfinals by eighth-seeded Cade Sarbacker of Wisconsin-Whitewater by a 6-5 count.
In addition to Etzel's historic day, 125-pounder Jacob Spearman (Lancaster, Ohio/Lancaster) became the first W&J freshman to win a NCAA match in the current tournament format. After dropping his first contest, Spearman pinned Will McCarthy of Concordia-Moorhead in 5:38 to notch the Presidents' first win at the NCAA Tournament since DeJuliis won two matches in the 133-pound consolations in 2003. The fall was Spearman's fourth of the season.
The last time two W&J wrestlers won matches at the same national tournament was in 2002 when DeJuliis and Wes Koteski '02 were victorious in the consolations.
Etzel and Spearman both suffered narrow defeats during their first-round bouts.
Etzel had to wait to learn his first-round opponent as Devin Biscaha of Springfield College wrestled sixth-seeded Reece Lefever of Wabash before taking on Etzel in one of the bracket's two preliminary bouts. Biscaha earned the upset win and then used that momentum to take a 4-0 lead into the third period with Etzel. Etzel escaped and added a takedown before running out of time for a 5-3 setback.
Etzel bounced back to win a match by that same 5-3 margin in his first consolation bout, defeating Brandon Yeik of the US Merchant Marines. He then dominated Ryan Arne of St. John's (Minn.) 6-0 to advance to Saturday.
Spearman opened against Ursinus College's Christopher Donaldson, who upset second-seeded Nathaniel Giorgi, to get to Spearman. The match was knotted 2-2 after two periods, but Donaldson used a strong move to pin Spearman with just 23 seconds remaining.
Spearman's fall set up a match with eighth-seeded Matthias Ellis II of Brockport State and after a scoreless first period, Ellis II came out on top 5-1. Spearman finished the season with a 28-7 overall record.
125 - Jacob Spearman (23-6) place is unknown and scored 2.50 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Christopher Donaldson (Ursinus) 33-7 won by fall over Jacob Spearman (Washington And Jefferson) 23-6 (Fall 6:37)
Cons. Round 1 - Jacob Spearman (Washington And Jefferson) 23-6 won by fall over Will McCarthy (Concordia-Moorhead) 12-11 (Fall 5:38)
Cons. Round 2 - Matthias Ellis II (Brockport State) 18-3 won by decision over Jacob Spearman (Washington And Jefferson) 23-6 (Dec 5-1)
157 - Josh Etzel (30-4) placed 8th and scored 4.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Devin Biscaha (Springfield) 14-6 won by decision over Josh Etzel (Washington And Jefferson) 30-4 (Dec 5-3)
Cons. Round 1 - Josh Etzel (Washington And Jefferson) 30-4 won by decision over Brandon Yeik (Merchant Marine) 18-9 (Dec 5-3)
Cons. Round 2 - Josh Etzel (Washington And Jefferson) 30-4 won by decision over Ryan Arne (St. Johns (MN)) 6-6 (Dec 6-0)