Wrestling Falls Short: Lugo Nearly Grabs Rare Freshman All-American Honor

Category:  Sports
Thursday, March 24th, 2016 at 8:01 AM
Wrestling Falls Short: Lugo Nearly Grabs Rare Freshman All-American Honor by Michael McLaughlin
Casey Fuller competed in his first national competition.

The Fighting Scots wrestling team saw all six of their wrestlers eliminated before the final day of wrestling at the NCAA Division I National Championships at Madison Square Garden.

Patricio Lugo was the last to be eliminated, advancing as far as the round of 12. He was one win away from being one of two true freshman All-Americans, but he lost to third seeded Lavion Mayes of Missouri.

At the beginning of the third period, Lugo came up with an escape to be down 4-2, but was unable to get the tying two points from a takedown.

“He wrestled hard and he couldn’t get any scores,” head coach Tim Flynn said.

Lugo ends his freshman campaign with a 32-9 record.

In the first day of competition, there were a number of upsets, from and against the Scots.

At 125 lbs., Sean Russell defeated 12th seeded Paul Petrov of Bucknell by a score of 9-8. It took overtime for the match to be decided when Russell got an escape late in the third period to tie things up.

At 157 lbs., Austin Matthews was defeated by May Bethea from the University of Pennsylvania.

Matthews battled back from an early 6-3 deficit and got the tying takedown in the third period, but Bethea had a riding time advantage, which gave him the tiebreaker advantage.

At 184 lbs., third seeded Vic Avery was upset by Joe Ariola of Buffalo. It appeared Avery had tied it up with 10 seconds to go, but the officials reviewed the takedown and ruled it as a no takedown.

Avery then shot early on the restart, which gave a point to Ariola and Avery had 1:13 in riding time, so the final score ended up 7-5 in favor of Ariola.

In the heavyweight division, Billy Miller beat 13 seed Jared Johnson of Chattanooga in a decision of 4-3.

Going into the third period, it was tied 3-3, each wrestler having a takedown and an escape. Johnson chose down to start the third hoping to get an escape point, but Miller did not let that happen.

Miller had 1:13 riding time to give him the tiebreaker point and the win.

On the second day of competition, Avery was the first Scot to be eliminated from the tournament.

He won his first consolation match, 8-2 over Ville Heino of Campbell, but was unable to get going in his second match, falling 11-5 to Corey Griego of Oregon State.

Only Casey Fuller, at 165 lbs. and Matthews were able to win their matches in the second session of the tournament.

Fuller beat Patrick Rhoads of Iowa, 6-3, for his first ever win at the national championships.

Matthews defeated Kamaal Shakur of Chattanooga, 9-2, for his first win of the tournament.

The third session saw everyone but Lugo get eliminated from competition.

Russell lost to Ronnie Bresser of Oregon State in his second round consolation.

Russell faced his second seeded wrestler in three matches and was unable to come up with an upset against Bresser.

Russell was able to tie up the score in the second period, but was defeated with a fall moments later. He finishes his redshirt freshman season with a 28-9 record.

Matthews won his second round consolation, but lost to Dylan Palacio of Cornell in the third round.

The redshirt sophomore battled with Palacio for two periods, but in the final period Palacio took control. Coming out of a 4-4 tie, Palacio put up 8 points in the third period and held Matthews to just two escapes for two points, winning the match 12-6.

Casey Fuller lost his second round consolation to David McFadden of Virginia Tech.

It started with a scoreless first period, followed by an escape in the second period by Fuller to start the scoring. McFadden, however, answered with a takedown and an escape in the third period. He came away with a 3-1 victory.

Fuller finishes his final season with a 27-11 record as well as a 72-60 career record.

Finally, Miller lost a hard fought battle to Tanner Hill of Arizona State to end his redshirt freshman season.

The first period was scoreless, but Hill got a reversal to take a 2-0 lead in the second. Miller followed with an escape and tied it up with another early escape in the third.

Hill was able to get the only takedown in the third and with riding time he had a 5-2 lead. Miller got an escape with 16 seconds left to make it 5-3, but was unable to get the tying takedown.

“I’ll be back,” Miller said looking forward. Now that he has gotten a feel for what this level of competition is like, he feels he has the potential to be an All-American next year.

Flynn said he hopes this national tournament fuels the underclassmen’s training for the spring and summer, so that they can come back stronger next season.

Michael McLaughlin is the Sports Editor for The Spectator and he can be reached at sports.spectator@gmail.com.

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