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Rhoads and Zak Captured Championships at Messiah; York has Seven Top Four Finishers

GRANTHAM, PA – The York College wrestling squad had an outstanding Saturday as they had two champions and two runner-ups in the 2014 Messiah College Invitational in Grantham, PA.

Spartan freshmen Tyler Rhoads (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin East) and Nick Zak (Jackson, N.J./Jackson Liberty ) won their respective weight classes while freshman Ryan Flynn (Newtown Square, Pa./Marple Newtown) and sophomore Mike Spencer (Pompton Plains, N.J./Pequannock Township) each earned second in their brackets.

Rhoads earned his first collegiate championship at 174 pounds as he won all four matches in impressive fashion. He opened his day with a pinfall win over Kevin Thomas from Thaddeus Stevens. He put Thomas on his back in a time of 1:20. Rhoads then bounced Messiah's Jeremy Bailes 10-8 in a high-scoring match. He advanced to the championship round with a 10-2 major decision over Wilkes' Nicholas Lynch. Rhoads picked up his tournament championship with a medical forfeit win over Patrick Davis from George Mason.

Zak continues to be one of the best freshmen in the region. The Spartans' 184 pounder opened his day with a tight 2-1 win over Anthony Messner from Rutgers. He then moved into the semifinals with a 6-2 win over Nick Havener from Messiah. Zak advanced to the championship bout with an impressive 13-3 major decision win over Ken Dougherty. Zak then captured his first collegiate invitational win with a 14-8 win over Liberty University's Royal Brettrager. Zak improves to 23-7 with the four wins.

Flynn opened his day with an 8-1 decision at 133, downing Messiah's Andres Gutierrez to advance. Flynn then shutout Maryland's Chris Reilly 6-0 to move into the semifinal match. Flynn earned his berth in the championship bout with a 9-2 win over Wilkes' Edwin Fiscal. Flynn's run came to an end when Maryland's Geoffrey Alexander recorded a first period pin fall win. Flynn improves to 18-9 for the season.

Spencer finished second in the 285 pound class. The Spartan sophomore began his tournament with a pin fall win over Thaddeus Stevens' Nick D'Agostino in 2:28. Spencer then defeated Messiah's Luke Weaver, 7-1 in his second round match. In the quarterfinals, Spencer pinned Maryland's Ryan Kail in a mere 1:25. He continued his run to the championship bout with a 10-3 victory over Millersville's Evan Canady. Spencer dropped a tough 2-0 decision to Wilkes' William Fletcher in the championship match. Spencer now has 17 wins for the Green and White.

York also had a pair of third place finishers in the tournament. Sophomore Adam Kritzer (Herndon, Pa./Line Mountain) won the consolation bracket at 157 pounds while freshman Mitchell Ramsey (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg) won the consolation championship at 165 pounds. Junior Joey Giaccio (Cranford, N.J./Cranford) rounded out the Spartans' top four finishers as he placed fourth at 141 pounds.

The Spartans return to action next Saturday when they host Gettysburg College in a regional tilt. The match is slated for a 1:00 pm start at Charles Wolf Gymnasium.

Nick Zak photo courtesy of David Sinclair

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