Rider at EWL Championships
CLEVELAND, OHIO—The Rider University wrestling team will compete in its first Eastern Wrestling League Championship Tournament Saturday, hosted by Cleveland State.
“We are looking forward to competing in our inaugural EWL Championship tournament,” said associate head coach John Hangey. “The tournament is an excellent tournament that will certainly prepare our wrestlers for the NCAA Championships in Oklahoma City.”
Defending champion Edinboro is the favorite, while Bloomsburg and Rider are expected to give the Scots a run for the title in the seven-team tournament which will send 22 wrestlers to Nationals.
Leading the Broncs (14-8, 4-2 EWL) will be sophomore Robert Deutsch (Cherry Hill, NJ/Eastern Regional), senior Ramon Santiago (Sayreville, N.J./Sayreville), sophomore Conor Brennan (Brick, NJ/Brick Twp.), junior Clint Morrison (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cedar Cliff) and junior Chuck Zeisloft (Woodbury Heights, N.J./Gateway).
“We feel that we should have several seeded wrestlers, led by Deutsch, Zeisloft, Santiago, Brennan and Morrison,” Hangey said. “This is what the season boils down to so we need all the guys to show up and wrestle the best they have all year. This is what they have trained for all year and we expect them to perform at a high level.”
Deutsch (27-4, 21-1 duals) is 6-0 in EWL dual meets and is ranked first in the EWL and 14th in the nation among 125 pounders. Deutsch qualified for Nationals last year as the Colonial Athletic Association runner-up.
Santiago (17-12, 13-9 duals) is 5-1 in the EWL and is ranked second in the conference at 165 pounds. Santiago was a National qualifier last season as the CAA Champion.
Brennan (23-7, 18-3 duals) is 6-0 in the EWL and ranked first at 174 pounds. Brennan began the season as a 157 pounder but was forced into the lineup at 174 due to injuries.
Morrison (16-3, 15-3 duals) is 3-1 in EWL competition, missing much of the season with injuries and is ranked third in the conference at 184. Since returning from his injury, however, Morrison is 13-1 with five major decisions and two tech falls, and cracked the top 20 in national rankings.
Zeisloft (20-13, 12-10 duals) is 3-3 in the EWL and ranked second in the conference at 133 pounds. Zeisloft led the 2011-12 Rider squad with 23 wins and red-shirted last season with an ankle injury.
Other teams in the EWL include Lock Haven, Clarion, George Mason and tournament host Cleveland State.
The EWL will send 22 wrestlers to the NCAA Division I Championships in Oklahoma City, OK March 20-22. Rider sent four wrestlers to Nationals last year, two in 2012, three in 2011 and six in 2010. Rider sent four wrestlers to Nationals in 2009 and came home with its 13th All-American.