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Broncs Host EWL-Foe Lock Haven Friday
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ—The Rider University wrestling team, ranked 22nd in the nation in the latest USA Today/NWCA/AWN Division I Coaches Poll, will compete in its first-ever Eastern Wrestling League dual meet Friday, hosting Lock Haven at 7pm in Alumni Gymnasium.
“I have a ton of respect for the EWL,” said Rider head coach Gary Taylor, who enters the Lock Haven match with 393 career wins. “When I first came to Rider (1978) these were the teams I began scheduling. These tough programs with great tradition helped prepare us for the NCAAs.”
“The EWL is a long standing wrestling conference that has a great tradition and history of success,” said associate head coach John Hangey. “We look forward to the challenges that the EWL presents and feel that it will help us become better prepared for the NCAA Championships.”
“We’re very excited to be in the EWL,” Taylor said. “It is a league with great tradition. It will serve well to get our wrestlers ready to compete at the national level. It is a league with a lot of parity. Edinboro (currently ranked 12th) has been the class of the league in recent years but Clarion had a great recruiting class and Lock Haven is back to where they used to be. Bloomsburg (currently ranked 21st) was a great dual meet team last year and has some good individuals. Cleveland State has had All-Americans. George Mason comes into the league with us and they are improved.”
Rider won 19-14 at Lock Haven last year, the first meeting between these two teams since 2009, and Rider has won the last three meetings with the Bald Eagles. Lock Haven leads the all-time series 16-5.
The Bald Eagles (2-1) are led this year by 184 pound junior Fred Garcia (8-2) and sophomore 141 Dan Neff (7-2). Both were national qualifiers last year and both recently won their matches in a loss to 13th ranked Pittsburgh.
Garcia is ranked 14th in the nation and placed fourth at the Binghamton Open last week. Neff was the EWL runner-up last season as a freshman and won a bout at Nationals. He recently went 4-2 at Binghamton and has been ranked in the top 15 this year.
Rider is led by three ranked wrestlers, sophomore 125 Robert Deutsch (Cherry Hill, NJ/Eastern Regional) senior 165 Ramon Santiago (Sayreville, N.J./Sayreville) and junior 184 Clint Morrison (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cedar Cliff).
Deutsch (3-1) is ranked 10th, Santiago (2-2) is ranked 13th and Morrison (3-1) is ranked 19th in the nation.
The wrestling match will be streamed on BroncVision, the pay per view video stream of Rider Athletics at www.GoBroncs.com.