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PAC-10 High School Wrestling District 1

College roundup: Ecker helps Ithaca finish at 14-1

by Don Seeley, Pottstown Mercury Sports Editor

Posted on February 17, 2009

CORTLAND, N.Y. - Sometimes second-best isn't all that bad.

That's what Seth Ecker (Pottstown) and his Ithaca teammates had to be thinking last Wednesday night, moments after clipping Cortland, 25-9, in their final dual meet of the season.

The 125-pound Ecker got Ithaca off and running with a major decision, and it wasn't long after he stepped off the mat that the No. 7 ranked Bombers clinched the win over No. 23 Cortland, ending a five-year losing streak to their hosts and finishing up at 14-1 - the second-best mark in the program's history.

The only team to put up a better record at Ithaca was back in 1987-88, when the Bombers went unbeaten in 15 duals.

The No. 8 ranked Ecker, joined in last week's lineup by 184-pound Brandon Stark (Central Bucks South) - who dropped a 7-4 decision - and the Bombers will travel across the state to Oswego State on Saturday for the Empire Collegiate Wrestling Conference Championships, one of a number of NCAA Division III qualifiers over the weekend.

DIVISION III WRAP

Ursinus closed out its Centennial Conference dual-meet season with a sweep of McDaniel (25-13) and Washington & Lee (34-6). Sophomore Connor McCormick (Owen J. Roberts) lost a 9-5 decision against McDaniel, but regrouped and posted a 6-1 victory against W&L in his two bouts at 149 pounds.

Elizabethtown got a technical fall from Will Bentley (Owen J. Roberts) at 125, but it wasn't enough in a 21-15 loss at King's, dropping the Blue Jays' record to 5-12.

Messiah got a pin from 165-pound David Jones (Boyertown) in a season-ending 25-20 setback at Muhlenberg. Messiah closed at 11-12 overall, while the Mules - with 197-pound Bill Sholly (Souderton) losing a 4-1 decision - improved to 4-6.

AROUND THE PSAC

Bloomsburg evened its Eastern Wrestling League mark at 3-3 with a convincing 29-9 win over visiting Lock Haven. Matt Moley (Spring-Ford) posted a 16-5 major at 157 for the Huskies (8-7 overall). The guests' Nick Hyatt (Boyertown) dropped a 6-3 decision in the 125-pound opener for the Eagles, who slipped to 1-4 (6-9-1).

Kutztown got a major decision at 165 from David Zeek (Council Rock North) and a pin at 174 from Sonny Flood (William Tennent) to coast to a 30-14 win at York. Kutztown's Chris Chambers (Council Rock South) dropped a 5-4 decision at 157 as the Golden Bears improved to 9-7-1 overall.

Shippensburg got a 10-5 decision from Nate Nauroth (Quakertown) at 149, but it wasn't near enough to handle visiting Gannon, 31-15. The loss dropped the Raiders' record to 7-7-1.

East Stroudsburg's David Luthy (Plymouth-Whitemarsh) came up short in a 6-1 decision at 125 when the Warriors battled to a 15-15 tie at Army. On Sunday, in a 19-12 win at Boston University, Luthy fell 8-6.

Earlier last week, East Stroudsburg got the best of Millersville, 27-9, as Luthy escaped with a 4-3 decision. The host Marauders got an 8-5 win at 157 from John Lester (Central Bucks South), while both Sean Reed (Springfield-Delco) and Shane Smith (Upper Perkiomen) dropped decisions at 133 and 174, respectively.

And Millersville, for one, is a team that won't argue Delaware Valley's No. 2 ranking in the Division II polls. The Marauders traveled to Doylestown last week and got thumped, 38-9, by the Aggies. The hosts' Chris Sheetz (Upper Perkiomen) won a decision at 125; Brandon Clemmer (Upper Perkiomen) followed with a pin at 133; Eric McCann (Pennridge) added a technical fall at 141; and unbeaten Rocky Mantella (Council Rock) breezed to a 10-0 major over the Marauders' Smith at 174. Millersville's Lester also fell, 5-3, in an overtime thriller at 157.

DIVISION I ROUNDUP

Penn got a pair of wins from Rick Rappo (Council Rock South) in a split of two Ivy League bouts last weekend. The 141-pound Rappo posted an 8-0 major in a 32-6 rout of Columbia - which saw Andrew Grabfelder (Germantown Academy, Collegeville resident) drop a 6-4 decision at 133. A day later, Rappo pulled out a 5-4 thriller in a 24-9 loss to No. 3 ranked Cornell.

Columbia did get two wins from Grabfelder - a forfeit and major decision - in double-dual on Sunday. The Lions fell to Drexel, 21-14, then recovered to pick up their first Ivy League win of the season with a 32-9 romp over Princeton.

Franklin & Marshall got a pin from 197-pound Colin Ely (Unionville) in a 28-18 setback to No. 6 ranked Lehigh (22-1 overall). Ely's fall improved his individual mark to 10-14 this season.

Rider's Fred Rodgers (Boyertown) lost his bout at 141, and the Broncs dropped a 28-15 decision to No. 18 ranked Old Dominion in a Colonial Athletic Association meeting.

Maryland's Pat Gilmore (Central Bucks South) rolled up a 10-2 major to cap a 26-11 victory at American, dealing the hosts their first home loss of the season and helping the Terrapins even their overall record at 8-8-1.

Virginia swept a pair of Atlantic Coast Conference duals, defeating North Carolina State (23-13) and Duke (35-8) to improve to 11-10. The Cavaliers' Pete Ferrara (Central Bucks West), a 149-pound senior, lost a decision against N.C. State before coming back with a 13-2 major in the rout of the Blue Devils.North Carolina, with head coach C.D. Mock (Council Rock) matside, fell to No. 4 ranked Nebraska, 24-15. The Tar Heels, who had a six-bout run broken earlier this month, are 12-8 overall.

No. 12 Oklahoma traveled to Michigan State on Sunday and returned home with a 21-8 win. No. 19 ranked Pat Flynn (Quakertown) was upset 9-6 at 184 for the Sooners (16-3 overall).

NCWA SHOWDOWN

West Chester had three medalists and finished fifth in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association's Pennsylvania Conference Championships on Saturday. The Golden Rams' Sean Fitzgerald (Downingtown West) and Brandon Banks (Wissahickon) were both runners-up at 184 and 197, respectively, while P.J. Steininger (Sun Valley) was third at 235.

NOTES

Ithaca's Jeremy Stierly (Owen J. Roberts) posted a decision at 141 in one of two exhibition matches prior to the Bombers' win over Cortland. ... Among the teams joining Ithaca at the Empire Collegiate Wrestling Conference Championships on Saturday will be Messiah and Lycoming. ... Two other national qualifiers expected to feature District 1 graduates will be Saturday's Centennial Conference Championships at McDaniel, and Sunday's Metropolitan Conference Championships at York. ... Mantella, a PIAA state champion in 2001 for the former Council Rock High School who stepped away from the mats for several years before returning this season, closed out the regular season with a 23-0 record. He's the first Del Val wrestler to go undefeated in duals since Jason Shivak (Spring-Ford) in 2004. ... The NCWA Northeast Conference Championships are set for Feb. 27-28 in Albany, N.Y. The national championship meet will be held Mar. 12-14 in Hampton, Va.

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