CLEVELAND, OHIO – York College All-American Greg Warner finished his stellar season as the national runner up at 149 pounds on Saturday at the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament on Saturday in Cleveland, Ohio.
Warner had a fantastic tournament en route to his second place finish. After going 2-0 on Friday to earn a berth in the semifinals, the Spartan junior faced off against Sean Peacock from Brockport State in the semifinals. Peacock, the seventh seed in the tournament, got out to an early lead against Warner. However, the Warner tied the match at three as the two headed to overtime. After a scoreless overtime, Warner was down first. He escaped with 15 seconds left in the period to take a 4-3 lead. Warner then stayed on top against Peacock for the final 30 second period to earn the dramatic one-point win, earning a berth in the finals.
Warner had a tall task in the championship bout as he faced Cross Cannone, the top seeded wrestler in the 149-pound bracket from Warthburg. Cannone came into the bout 33-0.
The first period was marred by two challenges that took a combined time of 5:04 seconds to review. The first review came after Warner had taken Cannone down but Wartburg asked for a replay and the call was overturned. That challenge came just 29 seconds into the match.
Cannone took advantage of the reversal as he earned a take down inside the final minute of the first period and then turned Warner over for a two-point near fall. The Wartburg staff again challenged the call, believing that Cannone should have earned a four point near fall. The call was upheld as Warner trailed 4-0 heading to the second period.
The two started the second period in the neutral position and Cannone got another take down late in the period to push his lead to 6-0 as the riding time climbed to 1:16.
Warner started the third period on top but Cannone got a reversal to push the lead to 8-0. Warner got an escape late in the period to put a point on the board. The final score would be 9-1 as Cannone picked up an extra riding time point.
The loss snaps Warner's 24 match winning streak as he ends the year with a record of 32-4. Warner enters his senior year with a record of 94-28 as he will take aim at Ryan Flynn's school record of 131 wins. Warner's 94 wins ties him with Alex Martocello for seventh on the career wins list.
With his performance in Cleveland, Warner becomes York's first three-time All-American and York's third national runner-up with his finish and second NCAA runner up. Darren Archangelo finished second at the 1993 Division III National Championship tournament. Pat McCaffery was a runner-up at the 1973 NAIA Wrestling National Championships.
The future for Warner and the Spartans will be very bright in 2018-19 as five of the six national qualifiers are slated to return to the Spartan room next fall.