GRANTHAM, Pa. – The No. 21 York College Wrestling team finished 10th out of 18 teams with a score of 50 points and placed three wrestlers, including one champion, at the 2015 NCAA Mideast Regional Championships on Sunday at Messiah College.
Sophomore Ryan Flynn (Newtown Square Pa. / Marple Newtown) highlighted York's performance on the day as he took home the 133-pound championship and was named the 2015 NCAA Mideast Region Most Outstanding Wrestler. Flynn compiled a record of 4-0 as he earned a pin fall at 4:15 into his first match and then went on to outscore his opponents 15-5 with three decisions in his final three bouts.
Flynn racked up 4:58 minutes in riding time in his 8-1 semifinal bout and then took an early lead and held on to win 4-2 in the championship match over the No. 1 ranked wrestler at 133 in Mount Union's Jeremy Border.
Flynn extended his win streak to 20 matches with his four wins on Sunday. On this current streak, Flynn has accumulated six major decisions, five pin falls and one technical fall. Flynn owns an overall record of 39-9 on the year and has advanced to the NCAA National Championships which will be held on March 13-14 in Hershey, Pa.
Junior Mike Spencer (Pompton Plains, N.J. / Pequannock Township) capped off a gutsy performance in a competitive bracket with a 3-2 win to take home a fifth place finish. Spencer advanced to the quarterfinals where he lost a 3-1 decision in overtime to the No. 8 ranked wrestler in Nino Majoy from Heidelberg.
Spencer rallied in the consolation bracket, scoring back-to-back pin falls before losing a 5-2 decision in the consolation semifinals. Spencer finished the season with a 35-17 with a team-high 17 pin falls.
Freshman John Shorter (Lancaster, Pa. / Manheim Township) closed out an impressive rookie season with a sixth place finish at 197 pounds. Shorter started his day with a pin fall in 2:55 and advanced to the quarterfinals. In his next match, the freshman came out on the losing end of a 3-2 decision to the eventual regional champion in Lycoming's John Secor.
In Shorter's first match in the consolation bracket he pinned his opponent in 1:12 and then earned a 3-0 victory to advance consolation semifinals where he lost a 3-0 decision. Shorter ended up wrestling in the fifth place match where he battled not only a familiar opponent in Messiah's Kyle Koser, but also a flare up of a recent ankle injury that noticeable hindered his performance. Shorter surrendered a 5-0 victory to Koser and took sixth place as finishes the season with a 34-12 record with 14 pin falls.
Sophomore Tyler Rhoads (Harrisburg, Pa. / Central Dauphin East) had to begin his day with a win in the preliminary round in order to advance into the championship bracket, which he did, winning by a score of 5-3. Rhoads then scored an 11-4 decision to advance into the quarterfinals. Rhoads then went to lose back-to-back matches in the final 30 seconds of each match by a combined total of three points. The sophomore closed his season with a 22-11 overall record.
Freshman Lake Laughman (New Oxford, Pa. / New Oxford) saw his productive rookie season come to close as he posted a 1-2 record on the day in a loaded 125-pound bracket that boasted four nationally ranked wrestlers. Laughman fell victim to one of those wrestlers, No. 8 ranked Nick Mancini of Mount Union, in first match. Laughman then moved into the consolation bracket where he won his first bout, 3-1, but fell in his second by a score of 7-4. The freshman has plenty to look forward and build on as he finished the season with a record of 21-25.
Senior Drew Spector (West Deptford, N.J. / West Deptford) also faced a tall order as went up against a field of competitors that possessed four nationally ranked wrestlers. Spector lost his first match of the day, which put him in a tough position, as he needed to win five straight matches to advance to nationals. The senior showed a glimpse of hope as he scored a pin fall at 2:05 into his next match, but then he saw his college career come to a close as he was pinned in 4:09 by Brad Mayville from RIT who is ranked the No. 7 in the nation.
Sophomore Austin Barley (York, Pa. / Spring Grove) entered the day as one of York's hottest wrestlers, riding a five-match win streak. Barley saw that streak come to an end as he lost an 8-1 decision in his first match. The sophomore rallied back with a vengeance in his next match, scoring a 17-5 major decision and came within one point of scoring a technical fall at one point in the match. Barley then saw his season come to a close as he surrendered a pin fall at 2:26 in the consolation quarterfinals. Barley showed strides of improvement throughout the season and has a good foundation to which to build as transitions into the offseason.
The regional tournament marked the conclusion for all but one of the Spartan wrestlers, as Flynn will be advancing to the NCAA National Championships. The 2015 NCAA Division III National Championships will be held on March 13-14 in Hershey, Pa. Continue to check ycpspartans.com and the York College athletics' social media platforms for more information regarding the National Championships.
Photo courtesy of Derek Behrenshausen – Asst. Director of Athletic Communications