(ASHLAND, Ohio) – Eric Mateo highlighted three Mules place-finishers at the NCAA Division Two Super Region II Tournament in Kates Gymnasium on the Ashland University Campus Sunday afternoon.
Mateo finished third at 141 pounds to qualify for the NCAA-II Wrestling Championships in Birmingham, Ala. March 8-9.
Nick Viterisi posted a fifth place finish at 149 pounds while Clarence Neely also finished fifth at 184 pounds.
As a team the Mules finished ninth with 36 points.
Mateo defeated Findlay’s Joseph White 11-4 in the second round after receiving a bye in round one of the 141 pound bracket, advancing him to the semifinals where he faced Notre Dame College’s Maurice Miller. Mateo fell to Miller in a hard fought match, 5-4, dropping him into the consolation semifinals. The St. Robert, Mo. native bounced back, pinning Ashland’s Adli Edwards 6:45 into the match to earn a spot in the third place match against Central Oklahoma’s Trison Graham. Mateo and Graham battled to a stalemate through three periods, forcing overtime where Mateo pulled out the 10-8 sudden victory to claim third place and earn a spot in the NCAA-II Championships. Mateo posted a 3-1 record for the two day tournament.
Viterisi advanced to the 149 pound semifinals after defeating Ashland’s Daniel Genetin in the second round where he faced Central Oklahoma’s Jordan Basks. Viterisi came up short against the second ranked Basks, falling 6-3 to send him to the consolation semifinals. He wrestled Notre Dame College’s third ranked John Rivera in the semis and fell via a 5-4 decision to drop him into the fifth place match. The Bloomington, Ind. native earned a 7-0 victory over Ouachita Baptist’s Marc Smith to claim fifth place but missed out on qualifying for the NCAA-II Championships as only the top four place-finishers qualify. Viterisi finished the tournament with a 2-2 overall record.
Neely was pinned by Lake Erie College’s Zev Green 4:45 into his first round 184 pound match, dropping him into the consolation bracket. Neely fought back in the consolation bracket, defeating King College’s Brandon Tressler with an impressive 19-2 tech fall and then earned a spot in the consolation semifinals when he pinned Ashland’s Brandon O’Neil 1:44 into the match. He faced Green in a rematch in the consolation semis and revenged his loss in the opening round, taking an 11-4 victory advancing him to the 184 pound third place match against Notre Dame College’s Charles Mason. Neely fell to Mason via an 11-6 decision allowing Central Oklahoma’s Tanner Keck to challenge Neely for true fourth place and a spot in the NCAA-II Championships. Neely fell in the match after Keck pinned him at the 4:59 mark which dropped him to fifth place and eliminated him from NCAA-II Championship contention. Neely finished the tournament with an overall record of 3-3.