Dylan Foley and Hunter Ayen secure place in the NCAA Wrestling Championships

Ben Ryan

Staff Writer

Foley NCAA

Wrestling takes a great deal of courage. You need to be able to battle out another opponent with all you have, not giving an inch of room for the opponent to make a counter attack. Sparring on the hard mat, on top of the hard floor for about seven minutes, if you make it that long.

To wrestle on a varsity high school team is impressive; to wrestle on a college team, well, that’s special.

Only a handful of athletes get to live the dream of wrestling at the college level, and they need to be in top shape with great technique. Some, however, get to go beyond that point of just wrestling at a meet until the season ends. They win, win, and win some more, expanding their season to regionals and then the NCAA championships. Heck, if they’re amazing, maybe you’ll see them wrestle for their country one day. It all depends on how hard they work.

These wrestlers are already some of the most talented individuals in division 3. They have the talent to wrestle at regionals and take it even further.

For Springfield College, the Pride held their own as they had several people win regionals. Sophomore Tyler Keane, and seniors Dylan Foley, Hunter Ayen and Eric Hamrick all held spots in the semifinals hosted at Roger Williams on February 28, and March 1, 2015.

Unfortunately, only two wrestlers from Springfield advanced to nationals, and three didn’t qualify. Those wrestlers are Erick Hamrick, who finished fourth at 157, and two fifth place finishers being Tyler Keane, and Jacob Strohman.

Erick Hamrick, a senior, placed fourth at 157lbs. Tyler Keane, a junior, and Jacob Strohman, a sophmore, both fought their way to a ffth palce finish.

Dylan Foley weighing in at 165 pounds took home the title for his weight class as he defeated Colin Barber from SUNY Cortland in the semi-finals prior to winning his match that clinched his spot at nationals.

This trip adds onto his impressive career record, as this will be his second time traveling to nationals. On top of that, he placed sixth at nationals last year, as well as being an all-american.

Upping the weight a slight amount to 197 pounds, Hunter Ayen earned the third place spot at regionals, which allowed him to advance to the NCAA Championships as well. Ayen went through a tough road to place third; after losing to Wesleyan’s Isaiah Bellamy in a major decision 11-1, then wrestling in the consolation bracket where he defeated opponents from Johnson and Wales, Ithaca College, and SUNY Oneonta.

However, Ayen got his chance at Bellamy for a third time this season, things were a little different. Ayen pulled off what most would call an upset as he pulled out the victory on Bellamy in overtime 5-3.

Foley and Ayen will get their chances to show their talents as they will face some of the best wrestlers in the country at the NCAA Championships March 13 and 14 in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

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