March 7, 2008

All Three Spartans Eliminated from NCAA Championships

The York College wrestling squad sent three wrestlers to the 2008 NCAA Division III National Championships in Cedar Rapids, IA. The Spartans did not have a great day as all three Spartans got eliminated from the tournament before reaching All-American status.

Spartan heavyweight Luke Panizzi (Eatontown, N.J./Monmouth Regional) kicked off the tournament with a bang as he recorded a upset win over the number one seed as he downed Oneonta State’s Trevor Hiffa 4-3. Panizzi was dropped into the consolation bracket in his first Friday evening bout, falling to the eighth-seeded Dan Laurent of Wisconsin-La Crosse, 3-2. Glenn Geesman, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, then ended Panizzi’s collegiate career as he pinned the Spartan heavyweight. Panizzi ends his stellar senior season with a mark of 32-7.

At 157 pounds, John Niedrich (Freehold, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) dropped his opening bout falling to Gettysburg’s Andrew Goldstein 5-3. Niedrich was the eighth seed in his weight class and had beaten Goldstein in their two prior meetings this season. Niedrich bounced back in the evening session with a 5-4 decision over Muskingum's Patrick Minner. Niedrich then saw his season come to an end with a 14-7 loss to Cornell College’s Patrick McAuley. Niedrich ends his season with a mark of 27-7.

At 125 pounds, the Spartans’ Kyle Flickinger (New Oxford, Pa/Bermudian Springs) was eliminated from the championships after two matches. Flickinger, who was the eight seed in the weight class, fell to Stephen Kingsland from Ursinus, 3-2 in overtime in his opening bout. That loss sent Flickinger to the consolation bracket where he lost to Thiel’s Rob Miller 3-1 as his bid to become a back-to-back All-American came to an end. Flickinger ends his junior year with a mark of 30-8.

Panizzi and Flickinger earned their tickets to the national championships as they won their respective weight classes at the Metropolitan Wrestling Conference championships on February 24. Niedrich was a coaches’ wild card selection after finishing second at 157 pounds at the Metro championships.

The Spartans return a number of their top performers in 2008-09 including Flickinger and Niedrich, who will both be seniors for the green and white. The Spartans finished 2007-08 with a dual meet record of 14-6. They finished first at the Kings College Monarch Invitational and second at the Spartan Invitational while four Spartans earned individual titles at the Ursinus College Fall Brawl.

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