VICTORIOUS. The Wesleyan wrestling team muscled its way to its second (ever) NEWA Championship title this weekend, boasting three individual weight class champions Kyle Roosa ’13 at 174 pounds, Jefferson Ajayi ’13 at 184, and Luke Erickson ’12 at 197. Wesleyan scored 126 team points to narrowly defeat the 10-time defending NEWA champ Springfield by only 0.5 points.
This is athletically historic, as the last Wesleyan NEWA championship was back in 1984, and not since 1982 have there been three Wesleyan individual weight class champions. Gideon Levy ’13 notes, “because our victory was by half a point, the lowest possible to win, the margin of error was small, making it a true team effort.” Joey Schwartz ’14 writes about the importance of the team as a unit:
“In our championship yesterday one single person cannot be distinguished for carrying the team to victory. It took a collective team effort and everybody (even the guys who didn’t wrestle) put in the time, in and out of season, with hard work and dedication and a mind set towards one goal— to win a new england championship. Finally, at the end of the season, reaching this goal and having contributed greatly to the cause is a beyond awesome feeling and I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else than on the Wesleyan Cardinal wrestling team this season. We have made history and its pretty damn sweet that I can say I was a part of that.”
Wesleyan had five other individuals earn all-New England honors as both Joey Schwartz ’14, at 133, and Howard
Tobochnik ’13, at 149, attained runner-up status. Tobochnik just missed being the Cardinals’ fourth titlist as he fell in overtime in the championship match. Ben Schwartz ’15, at 125, and Ryan Sblendorio ’15, at 165, took fifth place while Nick Scotto ’13, at 141, grabbed sixth.
The three Cardinal individual winners advance to the NCAA Division III Championships Fri.-Sat., March 9-10 at the U. of Wisconsin-LaCrosse where they will look to become All-Americans with a top-eight finish in their respective weight class. Roosa is making his second straight trip to Nationals while Ajayi and Erickson are first-timers.
And thanks to Shannon Welch ’14 for getting these awesome shots:[nggallery id=114]