YORK, PA – The York College wrestling squad concluded its season on Sunday afternoon with a tenth place finish at the 17-team NCAA Division III Mideast Tournament at the Grumbacher Sport & Fitness Center.
The Spartans finished with 49.5 team points, 2.5 back of ninth place Baldwin Wallace and six points behind Washington & Jefferson for eighth. Messiah won the team championship with 109 points. Mount Union edged Waynesburg for second as the Purple Raiders finished with 76 points while the Yellow Jackets recorded 72.5 points. Brockport State (68.5 points) and Heidelberg (64.5 points) rounded out the top five teams.
The Spartans got four top six finishers in the loaded tournament. Junior Joey Giaccio (Cranford, N.J./Cranford) and freshman Nick Zak (Jackson, N.J./Jackson Liberty) each recorded fifth place finishes for the Green and White. Freshmen Ryan Flynn (Newtown Square, Pa./Marple Newtown) and Tyler Rhoads (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin East) each finished sixth in their respective weight classes.
Giaccio was looking to return to the national championship tournament after earning a berth at last year's regional championship. He began his day at 141 with an 11-8 overtime win over Baldwin Wallace's Joshua Decatur. He was then bounced to the consolation bracket by Heidelberg's Ian Gillespie, 10-0. Giaccio roared back with an 11-5 win over RIT's Jake Sepor to move into the consolation semifinals. Giaccio then notched a tight 6-5 win over Waynesburg Jake Vitolo to move into the consolation semifinals. There, he suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 overtime loss to Mount Union's Bryant Roby. The Spartan junior bounced back to earn fifth with a 9-7 victory over Heidelberg's Gillespie in a rematch of the earlier quarterfinal match.
Giaccio finished the year 25-9 overall.
Zak had a strong first regional tournament for York. The 184 pounder opened the tournament with an impressive 15-0 tech fall win over Baldwin Wallace's Andrew Schackelford. Zak then ran into the second-seeded Cameron Fine from Waynesburg. Fine recorded a 4-1 win over Zak as the freshman moved to the consolation bracket. Zak returned to form with another tech fall win as he beat John Carroll's Isen Vajusi 20-3 to move into the consolation quarterfinals. Zak advanced to the consolation semifinals with an 8-4 win over Thiel's Jerrold Roosa. Zak then dropped an 11-5 decision to Messiah's Josh Thompson, who was the top seed in the weight class and the defending regional champion. The freshman closed out a stellar first campaign in the Green and White with a 7-4 win over Mount Union's Brent Kirk to earn the fifth place finish.
Zak finished the year with a team-leading 28 wins against nine losses.
Flynn won his first match at 133 before running into top-seeded Colin McDermitt from Heidelberg. McDermitt earned an 4-2 win to bump Flynn to the consolation bracket. Flynn battled back to win a pair of matches before falling to Baldwin Wallace's Andrew Taylor in the consolation semifinals. Flynn fought hard but came up a little short in the fifth place match as he finished a strong freshman campaign with a record of 22-12.
Rhoads earned a pair of wins in his opening two matches to get off to a great start in the tournament. He downed Mount Union's Brogan Endres 5-2 in the opening round and followed that with a pinfall win over Waynesburg's Anthony Bonaventura, the second seed in the weight class. Rhoads fell to Elizabethtown's William Herman 10-7. Rhoads responded with a 32 second pin of Ohio Northern's Tyler Gargano but he wouldn't be able to carry over the momentum as he dropped his next two matches to finish sixth.
Rhoads completes his first year as a Spartan with a mark of 13-13.
Spartan head coach Duane Bastress is slated to return all 10 starters from the regional tournament next year as York didn't have a senior in the regular rotation all season. York completed their dual meet campaign with a mark of 11-8 after starting the season 1-5.