Wrestling Posts Another Banner Year Behind Three NCAA Qualifiers, Six All-Region Standouts
Behind a 15-7 dual-match season, Wesleyan wrestling celebrated one of its most prominent seasons in history. The Cardinals finished the year ranked 11th nationally in Division III, the highest-ever final ranking for Wesleyan. Each of Wesleyan's seven dual-match losses came against a team ranked among the top-10 nationally, three of them by two points or less. Wesleyan defeated three teams ranking among the top-30 including #12 Olivet and #13 Ithaca. Both were ranked in the top-10 in the nation when the Cardinals defeated them. Wesleyan had six individuals gain all-region recognition with three of them - Jefferson Ajayi '13 (top photo), Howard Tobochnik '13 (middle photo), and Josh Roometua '16 (bottom photo) qualifying for the NCAA Championships. Other team highlights in 2012-13 included:
- a sixth-place finish at the NWCA National Dual Championships in Springfield, Ill., only the second time in history a New England team has placed among the top eight.
- a second-place finish among 14 teams at the New England Wrestling Association Duals, falling to #10 Springfield in the championship match, 19-18.
- a fourth-place finish among 18 teams at the inaugural Northeast Regional Championships held at WPI.
- a sixth-place ranking nationally in Division III as a Scholar All-American Wrestling Team with a 3.443 team GPA.
- a fourth consecutive year ranked among the top-30 teams in the final national Division III rankings (26th in 2009-10, 29th in both 2010-11 and 2011-12).
- a fifth consecutive winning season and 11th on the last 13 seasons. Wesleyan is 61-29-2 over the last five campaigns and 146-92-3 over the last 13. The 15 wins in 2012-13 is the third-best in history behind the 16-3-1 mark of the 2010-11 team and the 17-2 mark of the 2001-02 squad.
Joining Ajayi, Tobochnik and Roometua as Northeast Region placewinners were Nick Scotto '13 (5th at 141), Maika Nagata '13 (5th at 133) and Kyle Roosa '13 (5th at 174). Ajayi placed second at 184 while Tobochnik and Roometua both took third. Among the accomplishments of members of the 2012-13 squad were:
- Scotto leading the country (all divisions) in total pins with 21 while Tobochnik ranked seventh in Division III with 15 pins.
- Tobochnik finishing his career with a Wesleyan-best 119 victories (119-45), one of just five Cardinals in history to go over the century mark. Two others were in the class of 2013 with Roosa (108-38) and Ajayi (106-31) joining Tobochnik.
- Roometua becoming just the third freshman from Wesleyan to qualify for the NCAAs, and first in 31 years, as he joined Rob Ginsberg (1982) and Mike Whalen (1980) in the department.
- Nagata, Roosa, Scotto and Tobochnik all being named Scholar All-Americans with GPAs in excess of 3.2 and placing at the regional championships. Tobochnik also was named Wesleyan's Roger Maynard Award winner as the top senior scholar-athlete at the college.