PRINCETON, N.J. (March 4, 2012) – Scott Winston (Jackson, N.J.) fought returning All-American Brandon Hatchett of Lehigh past the three regulation periods, but could not get the better of his top-seeded foe, falling by a score of 4-2 (SV) at the 2012 Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championships in Jadwin Gym on Sunday. The Rutgers wrestling team placed five wrestlers on the award stand and finished in seventh place with 74.5 points. Cornell took the team title with 151.5 points. Four Scarlet Knights, including Winston, automatically qualified for the 2012 NCAA Championships, held inside the Scottrade Center in St. Louis from March 15-17.
In the 165-pound final, Hatchett used a late spin-around takedown with 13 seconds remaining in the sudden victory period to best Winston. The 2011 EIWA champion at the weight, Winston jumped out to a 2-1 lead after the first period with an opening takedown. The action slowed between the two competitors, allowing the Lehigh wrestler to tie the match to force overtime. The top four placewinners from the 165-pound class earned automatic bids.
In previous action, Billy Ashnault (South Plainfield, N.J.), Greg Zannetti (Edison, N.J.) and Daniel Rinaldi (Lodi, N.J.) secured their automatic qualification for the NCAA Championships. Zannetti took third place at 174 pounds, while Ashnault and Rinaldi placed fourth at 141 pounds and 197 pounds, respectively.
Senior Dan Hopkins (Jackson, N.J.) finished his league tournament run with a seventh-place showing at heavyweight.
The NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee will meet in-person to select the remaining 40 at-large qualifiers, which will be announced on Wednesday, March 7. All weight classes will consist of 33 wrestlers. Mario Mason (Moorestown, N.J.), ranked sixth in the NCAA Division I Coaches Ranking (Feb. 21), will seek an at-large selection after injury defaulting from action at the EIWA Championships.
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2012 EIWA Championships
165 pounds: No. 2 Scott Winston (3-1, Second place)
Sam Sheppard (Sacred Heart) W-F, 2:08
No. 7 Eren Civan (Columbia) W-D, 5-1
No. 6 Coleman Gracey (Army) W-D, 7-4
No. 1 Brandon Hatchett (Lehigh) L, 4-2 (SV)