Walsh, Wolfe earn 7th place finishes at NCAA's
ST. LOUIS, MO - Rider University All-American wrestlers Chad Walsh (Cherry Hill, NJ/Camden Catholic) and Ryan Wolfe (New Castle, DE/Caravel Academy) each won their 7th place matches at 165 and 197, respectively, to wrap up competition at the NCAA Championships Saturday afternoon at the Scottrade Center. As a team, the Broncs finished tied for 21st place with 20 points.
“I’m very proud that Chad and Ryan were able to become All-Americans. I feel really, really good about this one,” said Rider Head Coach Gary Taylor. “Obviously, this is the second time in our history that we’ve had a two-time All-American [Walsh]. I feel extremely excited that Ryan Wolfe has worked extremely hard and he is an All-American.”
Walsh defeated Cornell’s Brandon Womack by an 8-5 decision to claim his 7th place finish. On Friday, Walsh became Rider’s second two-time All-American with a win in the blood round, joining John Carvalheira as the only Broncs to claim the prestigious honor twice. He finishes his season at 33-4 on the year.
Wolfe held on for a 2-1 decision over the No. 10 seed, Kevin Beazley, to finish off his 7th place performance. The senior became Rider’s 15th different wrestler to earn All-American status with a win in the blood round on Friday night. He wraps up his collegiate career with his arm raised for the 23rd time in 2016-17.
“That was very important to me - winning the last match, because that’s the match that you’ll always remember,” said Wolfe. “So I’m glad I could get the win there.”
With Walsh and Wolfe earning All-American status, it marked just the second time the Broncs have had multiple All-Americans in a single season since three Rider wrestlers – Carvalheira, Francis Dunn and Jason Nase – all completed the feat in 1997. Retiring after 39 seasons and 442 dual victories (3rd all-time at Division I) at the helm, Taylor guided a Bronc to All-American status for the 17th time.
“I don’t get that emotional about myself. I do get emotional about the kids,” said Taylor. “That’s where it’s hard to hold it together. I’ve had a good run. 39 years, I ran the race as hard and as long as I could. And I feel good about that. I feel good about the body of work and that Rider has been able to receive both regional and national recognition through those years.”
A redshirt senior, Wolfe felt an extra measure of pride in picking up his final victory for the longtime coach.
“It’s amazing what he’s done in his whole career and I get to say I’m his last All-American,” said Wolfe. “Coach Taylor has done a lot for this program and I’m glad that we could have two All-Americans to finish out his resume.”
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