No. 9 RU Wrestling Qualifies Eight to NCAA Championships
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (March 9, 2011) ? The No. 9 Rutgers wrestling program will send eight wrestlers to the NCAA Chapionships held at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on March 17-19. The eight wrestlers going to Philadelphia ties a school record for student-athletes sent to a single NCAA Championship set back in 1960.
?We?re very happy to have eight wrestlers representing Rutgers at the NCAA Championships,? said head coach Scott Goodale. ?Anytime you can qualify that many guys it gives you a good chance to score some team points and hopefully get some guys on the podium.?
Mario Mason (Moorestown, N.J.), Daryl Cocozzo (River Edge, N.J.), Scott Winston (Jackson, N.J.), Alex Caruso (Green Brook, N.J.), Dan Rinaldi (Lodi, N.J.) and DJ Russo (Netcong, N.J.) all earned automatic bids by virtue of their finishes at the 107thEIWA Championships, while Joe Langel (Howell, N.J.) and Trevor Melde (Hewitt, N.J.) earned at-large bids from the NCAA.
Additionally, four of the Scarlet Knights - Mason, Cocozzo, Winston and Russo - earned top-10 seeds at their respective weight classes.
?While I?m happy to see some of our guys getting seeded, at the NCAAs you can?t worry about that stuff because there are so many good wresters and everyone is there for the same reason, to become All-Americans and National Champions,? Goodale said.
Langel, a two-time qualifier at 125-pounds, will open action for RU when he takes on Michael Martinez of Wyoming on Thursday morning in the opening round. The winner of the Langel-Martinez match will get either No. 3 Brandon Precin of Northwestern or Robert Jillard of Liberty.
At 141-pounds, Melde, another two-time qualifier, will take on No. 10 Todd Schavrien of Missouri in his opening match. The winner of the Melde-Schavrien match will face either Tyler Neuman of Pitt of Joshua Kindig of Oklahoma State in the second round.
Mason will make his RU NCAA Tournament debut when he takes on Brian Stephens of Virginia Tech. Mason, who competed with Minnesota at last year?s NCAA Championship, is the No. 7 seed at 149-pounds.
Cocozzo, who is making his third NCAA appearance, is seeded No. 10 at 157-pounds. He will take on the winner of a pigtail match between Northern Illinois? Bryan Deutsch and North Carolina?s Corey Mock in his opening match.
Winston, the 2011 EIWA Champion at 165-pounds, will be making his second-career NCAA appearance when he takes on Dan Yates of Michigan. If he gets by Yates, Winston, the No. 8 seed, will face either Bekzod Abduakhmonov of Clarion or No. 9 Justin Kerber of Cornell.
At 174-pounds, Caruso will open his third NCAA Championship with a matchup against No. 6 Ben Bennett of Central Michigan. The winner of the Caruso-Bennett match will meet up with Austin Meys of Lehigh or Curran Jacobs of Michigan State.
Rinaldi, a two-time NCAA qualifier, will take on Cody Magrum of Ohio State in his first round matchup at 184-pounds.
Russo opens his third and final NCAA Championship as the No. 4 heavyweight and will battle Levi Cooper of Arizona State in opening round action.*
The 2011 NCAA Championships will be covered in full by the ESPN family of networks. The full television schedule is as follows: Thursday, March 17 - Session one, 11 a.m. (ESPN3) -- Session two, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN3); Friday, March 18 - Session three, 10:30 a.m. (ESPNU & ESPN3 simulcast) - Session four, 7 p.m. (ESPNU & ESPN3 simulcast); Saturday, March 19 - Session five, 11 a.m. (ESPNU & ESPN3 simulcast) - Session six/championship finals, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN). All broadcasts are in HD, including ESPN3. 2011_NCAA_DI_Brackets