By Frank Keenan
Notre Dame College Sports Information
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – The No.1 ranked Notre Dame College wrestling team produced a dominant display to win the NCAA Division II Super Region I Wrestling Tournament on Sunday afternoon. Four Falcons claimed individual titles and five further Falcons secured top three finishes to advance to the NCAA Division II National Tournament in Cleveland, March 14-15.
NDC finished with 115.5 points, ahead of No.11 Pitt-Johnstown who finished with 90.5 points. No.7 Mercyhurst University finished in third place with 83 points and No.16 Kutztown University rounded put the top four with 55 points.
Maurice Miller at 141 pounds and Joey Davis at 174 pounds claimed regional titles for the second year in a row. Jonatan Rivera at 157 pounds and Eric Burgey at 165 pounds each claimed their first regional titles.
Maurice Miller was impressive at 141 pounds recording a 4-1 decision victory in the semifinals and a 7-4 decision victory in the final. Miller was a fourth place finisher at last years National Tournament and will look to become a two time All-American at this years tournament. Joey Davis continued his perfect collegiate career with two more victories to move to 35-0 this season and 65-0 in his career. Davis recorded a 15-3 major decision victory in his semifinal before winning his final 8-5.
Jonatan Rivera, who finished fourth at last years regional tournament, produced two solid wins on day two to claim the title at 157 pounds. Rivera won his semifinal 3-1 and then won his final 3-2. Eric Burgey claimed the title at 165 pounds with a 302 victory in the semifinal followed by a 7-3 victory in the final. Burgey won the National title at 174 pounds last year and will look to repeat that feat at 165 pounds in Cleveland.
In addition to the four title the Falcons also secured four second place finishes with Marty Carlson (133 pounds), Andrew Bannister (149 pounds), Garrett Lineberger (184 pounds) and Brandonn Johnson (197 pounds) all reaching the finals in their weight class.
Senior Brian Hauser qualified for his first NCAA DII National Tournament, having just missed out last year, finishing in third place at 125 pounds. Hauser is a Brush High school graduate and will wrestle for a National title in his hmetown of Cleveland, March 14-15.
“We had a really good tournament,” said Head Wrestling Coach Frank Romano. “We wrestled well on our feet and it was great to get nine out of ten guys through to the National Tournament. The semifinal round was key for us, as only the top-three from each weight class qualified, we managed to get eight through to finals. We will now start to prepare for the National Tournament and look forward to wrestling in front of our hometown fans.”