The Pride took sixth place out of 18 teams, behind schools such as Cortland, Ithaca, Johnson and Wales and Roger Williams.
With a weekend of wrestling, the Pride qualified two wrestlers to represent the team in the 2014 NCAA Division III National Championships. Dylan Foley and Eric Hamrick placed third in their respective weight classes to earn the spot for Nationals, which is just two weeks away.
Foley, a junior, took third place in the 165-weight class, but had an interesting day to prove he could undertake the national tournament. Starting off the day, the Southborough, Mass native dropped his first match 12-1 against Collin Crowell of Roger Williams.
Picking up the day, Foley wrestled Shaun Gillen of Oneonta in his final match of the day, eventually winning 2-1 in overtime. He placed third on the day, giving him the chance to travel to Iowa for the Division III National Tournament.
“This is my first opportunity to show the country what I’ve got,” said Foley.
“He likes being in that wrestling back and battling through,” added Springfield coach Jason Holder. “He deals with adversity really well; he is resilient.”
Another wrestler representing the Pride in the national tournament is Hamrick, another junior. The Collingswood, N.J. native won his semi-finals match with a score of 4-1 to advance to the championship match. He fell short to a top-seeded wrestler from Cortland with a 16-6 major decision, but still qualified for Iowa..
“Eric is a talented wrestler,” said Holder. “He is good on all levels, on top, bottom and neutral. He is very solid.”
Last year, Hamrick wrestled behind Devin Biscaha, the 2013 National Champion in the 157-weight class.
This will be the first time that either junior has reached the national level of competition in the collegiate level.
“I thought that the guys that are going to the national tournament wrestled really well,” stated Holder.
Along with the two juniors, the Pride took seven more wrestlers to the Northeast Regional Tournament.
“The guys had really good matches, and competed really hard,” continued Holder. “We have a lot of guys with potential.”
Senior Michael Case dropped a 5-0 loss in the third-place match after battling and winning four straight in the wrestle backs.
Others such as freshman Hunter Ayen and senior Devin Biscaha lost in their semi-finals matches, advancing to the wrestle backs, but both fell short in their respective weight classes.
Along with that, Biscaha was injured during this round.
After a long weekend, both wrestlers going to the national tournament are taking a rest, but plan on getting right back on the mat to “hit the ground running,” as Foley described.
“The team helps them get on the national podium,” Holder said.
Holder plans on preparing the pair of juniors for the NCAA Division III National Tournament on March 14, but still looks ahead for the rest of the wrestlers, stating that they have the potential to be great in the next few years.