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Rutgers (13-8, 5-1 EIWA) at the 2012 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Thursday, March 15
Session I - 11 a.m. • Session II - 6:30 p.m.
Friday, March 16
Session III - 10 a.m. • Session IV - 6 p.m.
Saturday, March 17
Session V - 10 a.m. • Session VI - 6:30 p.m.
St. Louis • Scottrade Center
• The Rutgers wrestling team qualified five wrestlers for the 2012 NCAA Championships in St. Louis, held March 15-17 in the Scottrade Center. Head coach Scott Goodale will lead 141-pounder Billy Ashnault (South Plainfield, N.J.), 149-pounder Mario Mason (Moorestown, N.J.), 165-pounder Scott Winston (Jackson, N.J.), 174-pounder Greg Zannetti (Edison, N.J.) and 197-pounder Dan Rinaldi (Lodi, N.J.) to the national tournament.
• The Scarlet Knights earned their NCAA qualification through the 2012 EIWA Championships in Princeton, N.J., held from March 3-4. Winston placed second, Zannetti took third and both Ashnault and Rinaldi placed fourth to qualify automatically. Mason earned his bid through the at-large selection process of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Selection Committee.
• Individually, Rutgers is led by Zannetti, who sports a 30-4 record at 174 pounds. Rinaldi follows him with a 25-6 mark at 197 pounds. Ashnault has the third-best win total with his 24-14 record at 141 pounds.
• In his fifth season leading the Scarlet Knights, Goodale has led a total of 25 qualifiers to the NCAA Championships. The success starts the EIWA Championships, where Goodale has placed 25 RU wrestlers on the award stand.
Rutgers and the NCAA Championships
• Rutgers qualified five individuals for the 2012 NCAA Championships inside the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Thursday, March 15 - Saturday, March 17. The five Scarlet Knights ties for the fourth-highest number of wrestlers that Rutgers has sent to the NCAA event in the history of its wrestling program.
• Head coach Scott Goodale has taken two of the top three RU contingents to the national tournament. Last season, the Scarlet Knights qualified eight wrestlers to tie the program-best set in 1960. In 2010, seven Rutgers wrestlers represented the program on the national stage.
• Rutgers has placed eight All-Americans on the award stand in program history, with the latest honor going to fourth-place Tom Tanis at 184 pounds in 2002. Mike Leta owns the highest individual placement for the Scarlet Knights with a third-place performance at 130 pounds in 1960.
• Tanis’ All-America journey at the 2002 NCAA Championships in Albany, N.Y., was a tough task for any wrestler. Tanis dropped his opening match in the 184-pound division, then needed to win four consecutive matches to earn All-America honors. Tanis won six bouts in a row to advance to the consolation finals, dropping the final match to Iowa’s Jessman Smith by a score of 9-5 to take fourth place.
• RU placed 27th at the 2011 NCAA Championships inside the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Scarlet Knight wrestlers compiled a 12-14 record in the tournament to record 21.5 team points.
Rutgers Qualifiers - 2011 NCAA Championships - Philadelphia (March 16-18, 2011)
125 pounds: Joe Langel (RU), DNP, 2-2
141 pounds: Trevor Melde (RU), DNP, 0-2
149 pounds: Mario Mason (RU), DNP, 2-2 (Round of 12)
157 pounds: Daryl Cocozzo (RU), DNP, 2-2
165 pounds: Scott Winston (RU), DNP, 2-2 (Round of 12)
174 pounds: Alex Caruso (RU), DNP, 1-2
184 pounds: Dan Rinaldi (RU), DNP, 1-2
HWT: D.J. Russo (RU), DNP, 2-2
Bold denotes current RU squad member
Scouting the NCAA Championships
• The NCAA Championships features a 33-wrestler bracket at all 10 weights. Seeds are awarded to the top 12 individuals, as decided by the NCAA Division I Wrestling Selection Committee. All five Scarlet Knights are set to compete as unseeded wrestlers in this season’s tournament.
• Five national champions return from the 2011 NCAA Championships seeking top honors again this season. Oklahoma State junior Jordan Oliver will look to defend his 133-pound title, while Michigan senior Kellen Russell will try for his second 141-pound championship. Kyle Dake, a junior 157-pounder from Cornell, will go for his third title, all at different weights. Dake won at 141 pounds in 2010 and was the 2011 champion at 149 pounds. Penn State junior Quentin Wright aims to defend his 184-pound championship from a season ago, while Lehigh senior heavyweight Zach Rey will also go for back-to-back titles.
• Junior Matt McDonough of Iowa won the 125-pound NCAA title in 2010 and returns to seek his second championship at the weight.
• At 141 pounds, Billy Ashnault (South Plainfield, N.J.) faces off against Northern Iowa’s Levi Wolfensperger (13-6) in the opening round. Fourth-seeded Michael Mangrum (33-3) of Oregon State is a potential second opponent.
• At 149 pounds, Mario Mason (Moorestown, N.J.) faces a first-round matchup against either Josh Wilson of Utah Valley or Kyle Bradley of Missouri, who wrestle in a preliminary bout. The second round holds a potential matchup with No. 2-seeded Jamal Parks of Oklahoma State, who is 30-0 this season.
• Scott Winston (Jackson, N.J.), RU’s 165-pounder, will take on 12th-seeded P.J. Gillespie of Hofstra in his initial match. Winston fell to the Hofstra wrestler by a score of 2-0 on Jan. 27. His second foe of the tournament could potentially be No. 5 Mike Evans of Iowa.
• Rutgers 174-pounder Greg Zannetti (Edison, N.J.) draws No. 11 Justin Zeerip of Michigan in the first round. The Wolverine wrestler has compiled a 21-6 record in 2011-12. No. 6 Ryan DesRoches of Cal Poly is a potential second foe of the tournament.
• At 197 pounds, Dan Rinaldi (Lodi, N.J.) faces Kent State’s Keith Witt, who the Scarlet Knight beat 5-3 at the NWCA National Duals event in the RAC on Feb. 11. The second round holds the potential of a match between Rinaldi and No. 2 Chris Honeycutt of Edinboro. Honeycutt has wrestled to a 36-1 record this season.
Winston takes Second, RU Finishes Seventh at EIWA Championships
• The Rutgers wrestling team came in seventh place with 74.5 points at the 2012 EIWA Championships in Princeton, N.J., March 3-4. Scott Winston (Jackson, N.J.) notched RU’s highest individual finish with a runner-up showing at 165 pounds to qualify for the 2012 NCAA Championships. Billy Ashnault (South Plainfield, N.J.), Greg Zannetti (Edison, N.J.) and Daniel Rinaldi (Lodi, N.J.) also secured their automatic qualification for the national tournament. Zannetti took third place at 174 pounds, while Ashnault and Rinaldi placed fourth at 141 pounds and 197 pounds, respectively.
• Mario Mason (Moorestown, N.J.) earned an at-large NCAA bid at 149 pounds after suffering an early tournament injury.
• Senior Dan Hopkins (Jackson, N.J.) placed seventh at heavyweight.
Four Scarlet Knights in Final W.I.N. Magazine Poll
• The Scarlet Knights placed three individual wrestlers in W.I.N. Magazine’s March 6 rankings.
• Wt. – Rk., Name, Yr.
149 – 12, Mario Mason, R-Jr.
165 – 14, Scott Winston, R-Jr.
174 – 18, Greg Zannetti, R-Jr.
197 – 18, Dan Rinaldu, R-Jr.
Three from Rutgers in Final AWN Ranking
• RU wrestling had three individual wrestlers ranked in AWN’s March 7 poll.
• Wt. – Rk., Name, Yr.
149 – 7, Mario Mason, R-Jr.
165 – 17, Scott Winston, R-Jr.
174 – 17, Greg Zannetti, R-Jr.
Scarlet Knights End Dual Season with 24-9 Win over Drexel
• The Rutgers wrestling team concluded its 2011-12 dual season in top form, winning 24-9 over Drexel on Feb. 16 inside College Ave. Gym. The Senior Night victory improved RU’s overall record to 13-8.
• RU took seven of the 10 matches over the Dragons (7-10). The Scarlet Knights were pushed through to victory by a technical fall win by junior Greg Zannetti (Edison, N.J.) and a major decision victory by redshirt sophomore Dan Seidenberg (Red Bank, N.J.).