Three advance to NCAA Quarterfinals on historic day for Broncs

Courtesy: Rider Sports Information
         
Release: March 16, 2017
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Courtesy: Roy DeBoer
ST. LOUIS, MO - The Rider wrestling team ended a historic day at the 2017 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in St. Louis, Missouri, with three wrestlers in the quarterfinals and the team tied for 16th overall.

The Broncs were led by B.J. Clagon (Toms River, NJ/Toms River HS South), Chad Walsh (Cherry Hill, NJ/Camden Catholic), and Ryan Wolfe (New Castle, DE/Caravel Academy) who all wrestled their way into the quarterfinals. 

“There is a lot of excitement tonight because of what we were able to accomplish,” said Rider Head Coach Gary Taylor. “This is the first time we’ve had three guys in the quarterfinals in program history, but we can’t rest.”

The day started early, with Clagon wrestling in one of the 10 dreaded pigtail matches that kick off every national championship. Clagon overcame the seeding adversity, defeating Colt Shorts of California Polytechnic by 11-2 major decision. Clagon then was faced with 8th seed Jake Short of Minnesota, who he upset, 4-2. The day was capped off with a third Clagon victory when he scored another numerical upset, defeating James Shields of Arizona State 6-5 to move on into the quarterfinals. Clagon won the last two matches on the strength of takedowns in the final 30 seconds of the third period.

“I don’t consider either of B.J.’s victories an upset,” said Coach Taylor. “We felt he should have been seeded in the first place.” Clagon opens up day two action against top-seeded and undefeated Jason Nolf of Penn State.

Walsh wrestled to his well-deserved fifth seed, defeating Johnny Sebastian of Northwestern by 8-0 major decision and capping off the day with a very satisfying 43-second pin of EWL rival Austin Matthews of Edinboro, for his third victory over Matthews this year. Walsh will see former national finalist and fourth-seeded Isaac Jordan of Wisconsin in the quarterfinals.

Wolfe opened the day strong with a 9-4 decision over Jacob Holschlag of Northern Iowa. Wolfe then defeated Daniel Chaid of North Carolina, 12-5, advancing to the quarterfinals. Wolfe has a date with Olympic bronze medalist and defending NCAA Champion J’Den Cox of Missouri to begin the day. 

Michale Fagg-Daves (Somerset, NJ/Franklin) opened up with a very tough opponent in returning national finalist T.J. Dudley of Nebraska in the round of 32. Dudley would defeat Fagg-Daves 17-0. Cleveland State's Nick Corba then pinned Fagg-Daves to end the tournament for the Broncs' 184.  

Day two of wrestling for the Broncs will begin at 11 a.m. in the Scottrade Center.
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