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Warner Closes Out Incredible Spartan Career with Second Place Finish

Greg Warner photo courtesy of Scott Guise
Greg Warner photo courtesy of Scott Guise

ROANOKE, VA – York College senior Greg Warner closed out his amazing Spartan career on Saturday evening with a second-place finish at 149-pound at the 2019 NCAA Division III National Championship tournament.

Warner fell to College of New Jersey's Ryan Budzek 4-2 in the national championship bout as Warner finished as the national runner-up for the second straight season.

The title bout featured a scoreless first period as the Warner and Budzek couldn't get any openings. The duo started the second period in the neutral position and Budzek got a takedown 13 seconds into the period for the 2-0 lead. Warner escaped six seconds later as the second period would end with Budzek holding the 2-1 lead. Warner was on top to start the third and was awarded a penalty point at the 1:18 mark, tying the match at two. Budzek got a reversal with 1:02 left in regulation for the 4-2 lead. He would hold on and win the national championship as an unseeded wrestler.

Warner advanced to the championship match thanks to his 10-7 win over Brett Kaliner in the semifinals. Warner began the match with a take down just 21 seconds into the match. He earned a four-point near fall to go up 6-0. Kaliner got an escape with four seconds left as Warner led 6-1 after one. Kaliner was on-top to start the second and Warner escaped 41 seconds into the period. Kaliner got a take down and Warner got another escape as the lead was 8-3 after two. Kaliner made it exciting in the third with a pair of take downs of Warner but it would be too little too late as the Spartan senior advanced to the championship bout. Kaliner would recover to win the third-place match later on Saturday.

Warner finishes his career with a record of 131-35, the identical record to all-time wins leader Ryan Flynn who had held the record for the last two years. Warner closes out his senior year with a record of 34-7. He was York's first four-time All-American and was a two-time runner-up at 149 pounds. Warner won at least 30 matches in all four of his years as a Spartan.

On the strength of Warner's performance, the Spartans finished tied 17th as a team as they totaled 18 points, tying them with Alma College.