ADA, OH – York College senior Vinny Pisani (Orange, Calif./El Modena) and sophomore Joey Giaccio (Cranford, N.J./Cranford) both earned a berth in the 2013 NCAA Division III National Wrestling Championship tournament after winning their respective weight classes at Saturday's NCAA Division III Mideast Regional in Ada, Ohio.
Giaccio won the 133-pound weight class while Pisani notched the 149 pound championship.
As a team, the Spartans finished eighth of 16 teams at the regional with 60 points. Elizabethtown won the team title with 101 points.
Pisani and Giaccio will be joined by junior Chuck Glatz (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) as Glatz finished third at 141 pounds. All top three finishers in each of the ten weight classes advance to the national championships.
The trio will head to the Division III Championships in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on March 15 and 16. They will accompany head coach Tom Kessler and assistant coach Duane Bastress to the championships. It will be a special championship trip for the Spartans as, in addition to having three participants, Kessler and Bastress will be inducted into the NWCA Division III National Wrestling Hall of Fame during the weekend.
Pisani entered the tournament with a stellar mark of 24-3 as he was the top seed at 149. He didn't disappoint as the senior began his tournament with an 18-7 major decision over Case Western's Zack McCarthy. Pisani then edged eighth-seeded Andrew Johnson from Heidelberg, 8-6. The Spartan next advanced to the championship bout with a 7-3 win over Brockport's Eliah Golding. Pisani capped his championship with an 8-1 win over second-seeded Daniel Mirman from John Carroll.
Pisani will head to the championships with a team-high 27 wins.
Giaccio began his stay in the 133-pound bracket with a 9-2 win over Brockport's James McCabe in the quaterfinals. He then stopped sixth-seeded Jeremy Border from Mount Union, 11-8, to punch his ticket to the championship bout. Giaccio capped the championship with an 11-6 win over Elizabethtown's Chad Lammer, the fifth seed.
Giaccio heads to the NCAA championships with a mark of 20-4.
Glatz had the longest day of any Spartan in the tournament. The junior opened with an 8-0 major decision win over Lycoming's Caleb Willey. He then fell to eventual champion Jessee Meaney from Elizabethtown by a tight 4-2 score. Glatz then had to win four matches to battle back to the third-place finish.
Glatz began that trek to third with an 11-0 major decision win over Case Western's Xander Straughter. Glatz then bested John Carroll's Jordan Victor 4-0 to advance to the consolation semifinals. The Spartan then defeated sixth-seeded Bryant Roby from Mount Union, 6-1, to earn his shot at third. Glatz defeated top seeded Wayne Black from Mount St. Joseph 5-0 to earn his ticket to the national championships. Glatz will carry a 20-12 mark to Iowa.
Four other Spartans went 2-2 for the tournament. Freshman Kenny Arentz (Reading, Pa./Governor Mifflin) at 125, sophomore Drew Spector (West Deptford, N.J./West Deptford) at 157, senior T.J. Demetrio (Pottstown, Pa./Pottsgrove) at 165 and freshman Mike Spencer (Pompton Plains, N.J./Pequannock Township) each alternated a win, a loss, a win and a loss before bowing out of the tournament.
Kessler, Bastress, Pisani, Giaccio and Glatz will head out to Iowa for the championships on March 13. The championships are being hosted by Luther College.