CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – York College junior
wrestler Brian Thomason (Wernersville, Pa./Schuylkill
Valley) made his mark at the 2009 NCAA Championships
Friday as the 174-pounder planted his name firmly into York’s
record books becoming the Spartans’ 20th All-American.
Thomason posted a 3-1 record on the day, including wins over the
weight’s #1 and #3 seeds.
Thomason began the championships against the 174’s #2 seed Delaware Valley’s Rocky Mantella, who came in sporting a flawless 27-0 mark. Mantella bested York’s top 174-pound wrestler with a first period pinfall.
Undeterred, Thomason began his journey through the consolation bracket against #1 seed Johnson and Wales’ Jerome Owens. Owens, who also came into nationals with a flawless mark at 29-0, had dropped his opening bout to Coe’s Bryan Grothus by a slim 3-1 margin. Thomason then recorded a 16-0 tech fall over the shell-shocked Owens, five minutes into their bout.
Pushing through to the next round, Thomason met Wesleyan’s Gregory Hurd who, at 34-3, had fallen to #8 seed Eric Brown by way of a second period pin. Thomason then registered another shutout victory as he topped Hurd by an 8-0 margin.
Thomason’s second victory of the championships led to a bout with #3 seed Kyle Vanderhyde of Olivet. A two-time All-American, Vanderhyde came into the championships with an impressive 40-6 record. Vanderhyde, in his second match of the tournament, lost 8-3 to #6 seed Zach Molitor of Augsburg to set up the bout with Thomason. With an All-American spot on the line, Thomason seized the opportunity as he bested Vanderhyde 11-2 in his final match of the day. The victory ensures the Wernersville, Pa. native of one of the eight All-American slots with the opportunity to reach as high as third.
Thomason will look to continue his torrid run through the consolation bracket on Saturday as he opens with UW-Lacrosse’s Michael Schmitz. The wrestling action will resume from the U.S. Cellular Center at 10:00 am CST.
NCAA DIVISION III WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Photo of York's 20th All-American - Brian Thomason