WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – The No. 21 York College wrestling team finished fifth out of 18 teams with 78 points at the 2016 NCAA Mideast Regional Wrestling Championships with one individual champion, three NCAA national qualifiers and four top-six performers as the two-day tournament concluded on Sunday at Lycoming College.
Junior captain Ryan Flynn (Eagleville, Pa. / Marple Newtown) finished as the Spartan's top-performer on the weekend as he defended his 133-pound title and will be making his second-consecutive trip to the NCAA National Championships. Flynn finished with an unblemished record of 4-0 during the two-day competition as he recorded an 11-0 major decision, a pin fall (5:59) and a 5-4 decision victory before scoring a 4-1 decision in the first-place bout to claim the title.
Flynn is now 29-7 on the year and will be looking for his second-straight 30-win season as he heads off to nationals. The junior is also sitting on 90 career wins, which puts him in a tie for seventh all-time in program history.
Mike Spencer (Pompton Plains, N.J. / Pequannock Township) will see his successful senior campaign continue as he punched his first-ever ticket to the NCAA National Championships with a third place finish in the 285-pound weight class. Spencer compiled a record of 4-1 on the weekend, including back-to-back pin falls in his final two bouts.
Spencer is now 29-7on the season and extends his team-leading pin total to 19. The Senior will also be looking to record his second-straight 30-win season as he now sits on 105 career wins.
Freshman Greg Warner (Newville, Pa. / Big Spring) will continue to improve upon what has already been a stellar rookie campaign as he placed third at 141 and will also be making a trip to the NCAA National Championships in first collegiate season. Warner started out the weekend with back-to-back victories on a pin fall and a technical fall. The freshman then lost in overtime to senior All-American Jeremy Border of Mount Union in his third bout, which knocked Warner out of the championship bracket. Warner then had to win three straight matches just to get to the third place match, which he did with a 4-0 decision, a 16-0 technical fall and a 3-2 decision. Warner then notched his fourth-straight victory of the tournament as he scored an 11-4 decision victory to capture third place and advance to nationals.
Warner is now 25-9 on the season and surpassed Flynn for the most technical falls on the season with seven.
Sophomore John Shorter (Lancaster, Pa. / Manheim Township) has now placed at regionals for the second-consecutive season as the 197-pounder once again captured sixth in his weight class. Shorter went 3-3 on the weekend as all three of victories came on pin falls. Shorter finishes his sophomore campaign with a 23-15 record with 10 pin falls. In two seasons, Shorter has amassed 57 wins and has recorded double-digit pin falls in consecutive seasons.
Senior Cory Rank (Wyomissing, Pa. / Wyomissing) closed out his best season with the Green and White on Sunday as he finished one win short of placing at regionals. After losing his first match of the weekend, the senior showed a lot of heart as battled back to win two straight before finally dropping an 8-2 decision in his final match. Rank finishes the season with a record of 14-16.
Freshmen Jesse Huber (Levitttown, Pa. / Harry S. Truman) and Joe Sindoni (Mullica Hill, N.J. / Clearview Regional) gained valuable experience in their rookie campaigns as they both earned spots in the Spartan lineup at the Regional Championships. Both wrestlers finished 2-2 on the day and both finished the season with winning records.
The Spartan wrestling program took a progressive step forward by improving on last year's performance at the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships where the Spartans placed 10th as a team with one national qualifier and three top-six performers. This year, the Spartans placed fifth as a team with three national qualifiers and had four top-six performers. Three national qualifiers is most since 2013 when the program also had three wrestlers advance and it is also the most qualifiers under head coach Duane Bastress.
The 2016 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships will be held on March 11-12 at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Photo courtesy of David Sinclair