CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Elmhurst College’s Jake Oster became the first Bluejay wrestler to win an NCAA Championship, winning the national title at 125 pounds. Elmhurst’s Mark Corsello finished as the national runner-up at 285 pounds.
Oster become only the second Elmhurst athlete to win an individual national championship. (Elvis McCarter won a national title in outdoor track and field in 2000). The junior also became Elmhurst’s first three-time All-American in wrestling.
The respective first and second place finishes by Oster and Corsello are the highest national finish by a Bluejay wrestler. Prior to this season, no Elmhurst wrestler had placed higher than third at the NCAA Championships.
Oster scored an 8-7 win over Rochester Institute of Technology’s Mike McInally in the championship final. Oster raced out to an early lead over McInally before surrendering a few late points in the third period. Oster was able to fend off a late charge and secure the victory.
“Jake wrestled a very solid match in the finals,” said Elmhurst head coach Steve Marianetti. “He gave up some points late, but his defense was outstanding at the very end.”
With the victory, Oster finished the season with a perfect 27-0 record.
“There are very few wrestlers that have the ability to win a national championship,” said Marianetti. “We thought all along that Jake was capable of winning a national title. His flawless season is a credit to his hard work and a great moment for our program.”
Corsello earned his second straight All-America honor by placing second at 285 pounds. Corsello fell 6-3 to Wisconsin-LaCrosse’s Dan Laurent (the defending national champion) in the championship match. He finished the championships with a 3-1 record.
“I’m incredibly proud of the way Mark wrestled this weekend,” said Marianetti. “He wrestled the tournament of his life against some very tough competition and made it all the way to national championship match before falling to the defending national champion.”
Corsello, who placed seventh at last year’s championships, finished the season with a 30-8 record.
Oster, the top seed at 125 pounds, advanced to the finals by scoring an 8-6 sudden victory win over Ithaca’s Seth Ecker in the semifinals. On Friday, Oster opened the championships with 6-2 win over Wilkes’ Shaun Farnham. He then defeated Elizabethtown’s Tyler Erdman 14-7 in the quarterfinals.
Corsello, the fifth-seed at 285 pounds, reached the finals by earning a thrilling 2-1 tiebreaker win over top-seeded Kyle Bilquist of Delaware Valley College. Corsello began the championships on Friday with a 10-8 sudden victory over Springfield’s Christopher Brown. He advanced to the semifinals by defeating fourth-seeded Glenn Geesman of MIT 4-0 in the quarterfinals.
With the two combined finishes, Elmhurst placed seventh in the final team standings with 34.0 points. The seventh-place finish marks the Bluejays’ highest national finish, eclipsing the team’s eighth place finish in 2005 and 2008. Elmhurst has had 10 wrestlers earn All-America honors since the 2003 season.