Greg Hurd '10 (main photo) swept through the 174-pound weight class with a perfect 5-0 record to win his first New England Wrestling Association crown and earn another trip to the NCAA Division III Championships at Coe College March 5-6. Dan Bloom '10 (photo insert upper right) repeated as the NEWA winner at 125 pounds but had to defeat Carl Anderson of WPI twice after dropping a match to him during the festivities. Bloom also made his second trip to Nationals. The NEWA tournament was hosted by Western New England College Sat.-Sun., Feb. 20-21.
In total, seven Cardinals earned all-New England honors as Wesleyan collected 95 team points, good enough to tie for third place with Johnson & Wales. Williams won the team crown while Springfield placed second. Williams entered the tournament ranked 11th nationally while JWU was 21st, Springfield 24th and Wesleyan 26th.
The Cardinals got a second-place finish for the second straight year from 165-pounder Josh Berkovic '10. Luke Erickson '12 got his first all-New England honor with a third-place finish at 197 pounds. Also with a top-six finish was Howard Tobochnik '13 (5th) at 141, Dave Bachy '10 (6th) at 157 and Zach Rolfe '10 (5th) at 184.
Other honors went the Cardinals' way as head coach Drew Black (photo insert lower right) was named NEWA Coach of the Year and Wesleyan received the NEWA highest team GPA award.
Berkovic had a chance of participating in the NCAAs along with Bloom and Hurd as the NEWA coaches selected four non-winners as at-large choices to attend Nationals. Unfortunately for Berkovic and Wesleyan, he was not among the at-large picks.
At the NCAAs, Bloom posted a 1-2 mark while Hurd came away 0-2. Both wresters did the same a year ago, however, this time Bloom won his opening match, pinning eighth-seeded Jon Gregory of Ithaca in the first round before falling 19-6 to top-seeded Clayton Rush of host Coe. Last year, Bloom lost his opener before winning a consolation match. In his consolation match this year, Bloom dropped a 6-4 decision to Jay Swanson of Luther. A win in that match would have assured Bloom of All-America laurels.
Hurd had a tough draw, facing third-seeded Mike Schmitz of Wisc.-LaCrosse in the second round. Hurd suffered a first-period pin. In his consolation bout, Hurd came up short against Robert Bishop of Stevens Tech, 9-2.
Wesleyan posted four team points at Nationals thanks to Bloom, good enough to tie for 38th place among the 59 teams represented at the tournament.