WORCESTER, MASS. -- Six wrestlers for the nationally third-ranked Red Dragons earned berths into the NCAA Div. III Wrestling Championships in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, March 15-16, by virtue of top-three finishes at the NCAA Div. III Northeast Regional Wrestling Championships at Worcester, Mass., hosted by Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Cortland had four individual champions and two third-place showings.
Freshman Bobby Dierna (Webster/Wayne), the top seed at 149 pounds, took the title in his weight class. He pinned fifth-seeded Anthony Medina of Western New England in the semifinals before earning a 10-6 decision over third-seeded Jorge Lopez of Williams in the title bout. Second-seeded senior Troy Sterling (Uniondale) earned his trip to Cedar Rapids with a pair of wins over Empire Collegiate Wrestling Conference opponents at 157 pounds on Sunday. He recorded a 10-5 decision against unseeded Dan Graff of Oneonta in the semifinals and wrapped up the title with a 3-2 decision in the finals versus Oswego's Blake Fisher, the fourth seed.
At 174 pounds, second-seeded sophomore Lou Puca (Huntington) captured the title with a 13-1 major decision over third-seeded Kyle Roosa of Wesleyan in the semifinals and a medical forfeit victory against top-seeded Jules Doliscar of Ithaca in the championship match. Senior Jared Myhrberg, the top seed at 197 pounds, captured Cortland's fourth individual title at the tournament. In the semifinals, Myhrberg pinned fifth-seeded Blake McNulty of Johnson & Wales in 3:56, his third pin of the championships. Myhrberg then earned a 3-1 decision in the first tiebreaker over Springfield's Jeremy Burns, the third seed, in the title bout.
Freshman Alec Dierna (Webster/Webster Schroeder), seeded second at 133 pounds, earned a trip to the national meet with his third-place finish. After dropping to the consolation bracket on Saturday, Dierna recorded three wins on Sunday. He opened with a pin versus third-seeded Benjamin Mikac of Oneonta. He moved onto the third-place match with a 9-5 decision over fourth-seeded Robert Ferrante of Western New England and punched his ticket to Cedar Rapids with a 5-2 decision versus Oswego's Omar Santiago, the fifth seed.
Second-seeded senior Corey James (Kingston) captured the Red Dragons' final spot to the national meet with a third-place finish at 285 pounds. James fell to third-seeded Jamison Sacco of Western New England in the semifinals but bounced back with a 3-1 decision in the second sudden-victory period versus Rhode Island College's Brian Nicoll, the fifth seed and earned his spot at the national championship meet with a 3-2 decision versus Kyle Mcquire of Trinity in the third-place bout.
The Red Dragons had two wrestlers earn sixth-place finishes. At 165 pounds, third-seeded senior Jonathan Conroy (South Plainfield, NJ) lost to second-seeded Colin Crowell of Roger Williams by injury default in the semifinals. He then lost to fifth-seeded David Pinto of Norwich, 5-0, before medically forfeiting the fifth-place match. Fourth-seeded senior Will Parks (Shoreham/Longwood) suffered three tight setbacks at 184 pounds. In the semifinals, he lost to top-seeded Colin Lenhardt of Johnson & Wales, 5-3. In his next bout, Parks lost a 4-3 decision to thirded-seeded Shane Parcel of Roger Williams. In the fifth-place match, Parks dropped a 5-3 decision to Southern Maine's Jonathan Deupree, the sixth seed.
Eighth-seeded sophomore Paul Fields (Clarkstown/Clarkstown North) finished the competition with a 2-2 record, falling in the consolation quarterfinals, 10-7, to fifth-seeded Joe Pronk of Johnson & Wales.