Wrestling Puts Two on Podium at NCAA Championships

March 18, 2017

ST. LOUIS - Rutgers wrestling closed out the 2017 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships with two All-Americans for the second consecutive year over the weekend at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Sixth-place finisher Anthony Ashnault and seventh-place finisher Ken Theobold both represented the program on the podium Saturday night.

Ashnault became the first three-time All-American in Scarlet Knight history when he defeated Matthew Kolodzik (Princeton) to reach the championship semifinal on Friday. Theobold closed out his RU career with a first-round pin against Alex Kocer (South Dakota State) Saturday morning to finish seventh overall.

Rutgers has produced at least one All-American in each of the past four seasons and six overall under head coach Scott Goodale. It marked the second consecutive championships in which RU had two placewinners and just the third time the program has done it in its history.

2017 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships
Thursday, March 16 - Saturday, March 18
Scottrade Center | St. Louis
Brackets & Team Scores: 19th - 24.5 points
Team Score: Session 6 | Session 5
Final Attendance: 

Theobold closed out his 2017 championship run with a pin of Kocer (1:37) in the seventh-place match. The Toms River, New Jersey, native led Rutgers with four victories over the weekend, highlighted by a decisive 9-3 sudden-victory upset of two-seeded Anthony Collica (Oklahoma State) in the championship second round. Theobold clinched All-America honors with his win against Andrew Crone (Wisconsin) on Friday night.



“It’s something I’ve done throughout my whole career,” Theobold said of his pin on Kocer. “I pin a lot of guys that way and I’m happy I can end my career that way with my signature pin. I’m really proud and excited, so I’m just going to enjoy this moment and embrace it.

Ashnault dropped his pair of Saturday morning bouts in the consolation bracket. In the consolation semifinal, Ashnault lost his rematch with two-seeded Kevin Jack (NC State), 4-1. In the fifth-place match, Ashnault fell by decision, 4-2, to No. 8 Jayden Eierman (Missouri).

The 2016-17 season concludes as one of the most notable in program history. Seven Scarlet Knights qualified for the NCAA Championships, making it three straight years RU had at least seven grapplers in the field. Rutgers had six placewinners at the 2017 Big Ten Championships, where Ashnault became a back-to-back conference champion at 141 pounds.

Rutgers (12-5) closed the dual season tied for 12th in the final USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll, which included a 6-3 finish in Big Ten action and an undefeated 6-0 mark at home. The six conference wins marked the most since the Scarlet Knights joined the conference in 2014. This was the sixth top-25 finish during the Goodale era.

Wrestler - Weight (Record)

Opponent (School)


Scott DelVecchio - 133 Pounds

Championship First Round

No. 3 Kaid Brock (Oklahoma State)

L-MD, 12-4

Consolation First Round

Rico Montoya (UNCO)

W-MD, 12-4                                                                       

Consolation Second Round

Pat D'Arcy (PRIN)

W-D, 4-0                                                                      

Consolation Third Round

No. 12 Josh Alber (UNI)

W-D, 4-3                                                                      

Consolation Fourth Round

No. 7 Eric Montoya (NEB)

L-D, 4-3                                                                      

No. 5 Anthony Ashnault (All-American: Sixth Place)

Championship First Round

Mason Smith (CMU)

W-D, 8-3

Championship Second Round

No. 12 Luke Pletcher (OHST)

W-D, 8-7

Championship Quarterfinal

No. 4 Matthew Kolodzik (PRIN)

W-D, 6-2

Championship Semifinal

No. 1 Dean Heil (OKST)

L-D, 4-2

Consolation Semifinal

No. 2 Kevin Jack (NCST)

L-D, 3-1

Fifth Place Match

No. 8 Jayden Eierman (MIZZ)

L-D, 4-2

No. 15 Ken Theobold - 149 Pounds (All-American: Seventh Place)

Championship First Round

Samuel Krivas (UVA)

W-D, 8-2

Championship Second Round

No. 2 Anthony Collica (OKST)

W-SV1, 9-3

Championship Quarterfinal

No. 7 Max Thomsen (UNI)

L-D, 5-1

Consolation Fourth Round

Andrew Crone (WISC)

W-D, 7-4

Consolation Quarterfinal

No. 6 Solomon Chishko (VT)

L-D, 7-5

Seventh Place Match 

Alex Kocer (SDSU)

W-Fall (1:37)

No. 13 John Van Brill - 157 Pounds

Championship First Round

Ryan Langenderfer (Ill.)

L-D, 11-4

Consolation First Round

Ryan Mosley (GW)

W, 1-0

Consolation Second Round

No. 14 Sal Mastriani (VT)

L-MD, 10-2

Jordan Pagano - 174 Pounds

Championship First Round

No. 6 Ryan Preisch (LEH)

L-D, 9-0

Consolation First Round

Austin Dewey (BSU)

W-D, 9-3                                   

Nicholas Gravina - 184 Pounds

Championship First Round

No. 3 Sammy Brooks (IOWA)

L-D, 7-3

Consolation First Round

Zach Nevills (STAN)

W, 5-0

Consolation Second Round

No. 13 Bryce Carr (CHAT)

W-Fall (8:30) (SV2)

Consolation Third Round

Hunter Gamble (GW)

W-D, 7-3

Consolation Fourth Round

No. 7 TJ Dudley (NEB)

L-D, 4-1

Matthew Correnti - 197 Pounds  

Championship First Round

No. 2 Brett Pfarr (MINN)

L-MD, 11-3

Consolation First Round

Tanner Omdorff (UVU)

L, 11-6


Follow Rutgers Athletics on Facebook (www.facebook.com/RutgersAthletics) and Twitter (@RUAthletics) for all of the latest news and updates. For specific updates regarding Rutgers wrestling, follow the program on Twitter (@RUWrestling) and Instagram (@RUWrestling). 

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