YORK, Pa. – Wrestlers from all over the country will be converging on the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena in Cedar Rapid, Iowa for the 2013 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championship this Friday, March 15. The York College wrestling team will be well represented this weekend at the championships, sending senior Vinny Pisani (Orange, Ca./El Modena), junior Chuck Glatz (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) and sophomore Joey Giaccio (Cranford, N.J./Cranford) to compete.
This year will be a special championship trip for the Spartans. In addition to the Green and White's three wrestlers, head coach Tom Kessler and assistant coach Duane Bastress will be inducted into the NWCA Division III National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Kessler and Bastress have done wonders for the Spartan wrestling program over the years. Kessler boasts an overall record of 322-140-3. He has coached 14 Spartans that have earned 18 All-American awards and looks to add three more this weekend. Along with coaching, Bastress had an incredible three-year career for the Spartans. Coached by Kessler, Bastress became one of York's greatest wrestlers. He is a two-time national champion and a three-time All-American. Bastress earned his titles in 2005 and 2006 at 184-pounds. He finished out his senior season with a perfect 40-0 record.
Both coaches are incredibly honored to receive this award.
"It is an exciting week," said Kessler. "Not only for having three National Qualifiers, but also for Duane and I going into the NWCA Hall of Fame together."
The Spartans are looking to once again come home with three All-Americans. Last season can be argued as the best season the program has ever had. The Spartans left last years championships with three All-Americans. Alex Martocello snagged fifth-place at 184 pounds, George Saliba took sixth-place at 285 pounds and Chris Albright finished in sixth-place at 141 pounds. The Green and White finished the weekend 12th out of 54 total squads.
"We fully expect Joey, Chuck and Vinny to come home as All-Americans," said Kessler. "This is the best 18 wrestlers in the country at each weight class, the competition will be very challenging, but our guys have had a great season and we know they are capable of finishing on a very positive note."
All three Spartans are making their first trip to the NCAA Championships. Giaccio will be wrestling at 133 pounds and will face Evan Obert from Luther College in his first match. Obert is a sophomore from Genoa, Wisconsin. Obert has posted a record of 26-7 so far this year and was 18-12 last year.
Last season, Giaccio accumulated a record of 27-8. He capped off his freshman campaign with a fifth-place finish at the Metropolitan Championships. This year, Giaccio currently stands at 20-4 overall. He had a strong regional meet and won his weight class.
Pisani is coming off a big weekend at the Mideast Regionals. He went into regionals as the top seed at 149 pounds and walked away the winner of his weight class. This season, Pisani currently holds a record of 27-3. His 27 wins is a team high for the year. Pisani is ranked seventh in his bracket for this weekend. He will be wrestling at 149 and faces Eric Powell from the University of Dubuque. Powell is a junior from Bellwood, Illinois. This will also be Powell's first trip to the national tournament. He placed third with 13.50 team points in his regional qualifier and has a current record of 7-4. Pisani's senior season is his first with the Spartans and he is looking to make it a memorable one.
Glatz earned himself a wild card berth into the championships. He finished third in his weight class at regionals. Last season, during his sophomore year, Glatz posted a 20-14 record for the Spartans. He also finished in third place at the Metropolitan Championships.
At nationals, Glatz will be facing Kyle Windquist from Luther College. Windquist is a senior from Big Rapids, Michigan with a current record of 10-6. Last season, Windquist qualified for the championships and fell one shy of earning All-America honors.
The NCAA Championships begin Friday morning at 10:00 am eastern standard time and finish with finals on Saturday evening. Follow the Spartans throughout the weekend on ycpspartans.com.
Below is a link to the NCAA DIII Wrestling Championships digital program.