LaCROSSE, Wis. – Chris Albright and Alex Martocello became York College's 24th and 25th All-American wrestlers Friday at the NCAA Division III National Championships in LaCrosse, Wis. They both are currently competing at the national tournament after capturing their weight class titles at the Metropolitan Conference Championships back on February 27.
Albright, seeded fourth in his class, won his first two matches at 141 pounds guaranteeing him All-American honors. The sophomore began his day with an 8-2 triumph over Coe's Chris LeClere. After a two-point takedown by LeClere in the first period, Albright recorded an escape point and then another to begin the second frame. Albright went on the offensive in the third period as he picked up a two-point nearfall and then a three-point nearfall before concluding his scoring with a riding time point.
Albright's second match saw him defeat Stevens Tech's Ryan Bridge 4-2. That bout proved a similar start to his first as the fifth-seeded Bridge collected a two-point first period takedown followed by an Albright escape point. The Spartan sophomore again picked up a second-period escape point to begin the stanza. Albright finished the match with a two-point takedown in the third period to secure not only the win but also his All-American honor. Albright is slated to return to action on Saturday morning as he will take on top-seeded Bebeto Yewah from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse in the semifinal round.
Martocello, York's 184-pound junior captain, started his first National Championships with a 9-3 triumph over Cornell College's Andrew Roberts. He recorded two takedowns over the first two periods while Roberts was only able to manage one escape point. Martocello then snagged two more takedowns in the third and finished off the scoring with a riding time point.
That triumph sent the Spartan junior to the quarterfinal round which pitted him against familiar foe Mike Denver of the College of New Jersey. Martocello had bested Denver for the first time in six bouts to take the 2011 Metro title, but the Spartan would not come out on the winning end in this match as Denver notched the 4-1 decision. Martocello did record the first point with an escape to start the second period but Denver knotted the match in the third with an escape of his own. Denver's win came courtesy of a takedown in the third period before also collecting a riding time point.
Despite the loss, Martocello responded exceptionally well in his next bout Friday evening. Against Merchant Marine's Scott Lowe, the Spartan junior posted a solid 6-2 triumph to ensure his status as an All-American. Martocello did most of his work in the second period against Lowe, totaling five points, including a reversal and a takedown, in the frame. Up 5-1 heading into the third, Martocello carried out the final two minutes to secure the 6-2 victory and become an All-American.
Martocello is slated to take on Elmhurst's Josef Rau, who knocked off fourth-seeded Brennan Ward of Johnson & Wales, in his next match.
(*Note: All-American honors are awarded to the top eight wrestlers in each weight class*)
Chris Albright photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh - www.sharpedgefoto.com