Broncs at Nationals Day Two
DES MOINES, IOWA-The Rider University wrestling season came to an end Friday on the second day of the NCAA Wrestling Championships.
"I'm very proud of all four of our national qualifiers," said Rider head coach Gary Taylor. "They all wrestled hard and represented Rider in a very positive manner."
Rider senior 157 pound Zac Cibula (Luxemburg, Wis./Luxemburg Casco) lost 10-4 to the tenth seed, Roger Pena of Oregon State in the second round of consolations on Friday.
"Zac had to face the eighth, ninth and tenth seeds," Taylor said, "and Ramon had the fifth and sixth seeds, so they are clearly wrestling the best in the United States and were very competitive."
Rider 165 pound junior Ramon Santiago (Sayreville) lost 3-1 to the fifth seed, Steven Monk of North Dakota State in the second round of consolations on Friday.
On Thursday Cibula and Santiago each went 1-1. Santiago finishes the season 30-9 and Cibula finishes the season 24-12.
Cibula pinned the ninth seed, Frank Hickman of Bloomsburg in 2:14 in the first round before losing 13-5 to the eighth seed, Dylan Alton of Penn State in the second round of the championship bracket. Cibula lost 5-2 to Alton during the dual meet season earlier this year.
"Zac had a nice win Thursday," Taylor said, "but he's disappointed right now. He and Ramon wanted to do well out here. Fortunately for Ramon he gets another shot next year. This was his first trip to Nationals and it was certainly a growing experience for him, a learning experience that will help him."
Santiago lost 15-3 in the first round to the sixth seed, Patrick Graham of Oklahoma but came back to win 13-1 in the consolations against Josh Houldsworth of Columbia Thursday night for his 30th win of the season.
Also on the first day of the NCAA Wrestling Championships, sophomore 197 pound Donald McNeil (Plainville, Mass./Wyoming Seminary) and sophomore 133 pound Jimmy Morris (Northport, NY/St. Anthony's) each went 0-2.
In consolations, McNeil lost 8-3 to Michael Salopek of Virginia. McNeil lost 7-4 in the first round to the second seed, Quentin Wright (28-0) of Penn State. McNeil lost 12-4 to Wright earlier this year. "This time Donald wrestled him with a lot more confidence and intensity," Taylor said. "Donald had a very good match with the number two kid in the country. He wrestled hard in both of his matches. We're heading in the right direction."
Morris lost 8-5 to Mackenzie McGuire of Kent State in consolations and finishes the season 25-15. Morris lost 13-2 in the first round to the 10th seeded 133, Scotti Sentes of Central Michigan.
Morris missed the final month of the dual meet season with an ankle injury, just making it back in time for the CAA Championships. "He never really got back to form," Taylor said, "as sharp as he was earlier in the year. If he had more time he might have done better, his timing and his confidence would have been better. But this was a great experience for him that will help him down the road."