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Ashnault and Rinaldi Advance at the NCAA Championships
The two Scarlet Knights scored opening wins on Thursday
  • Posted on March 15, 2012 4:37:51 PM
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  • Billy Ashnault and Dan Rinaldi
    Billy Ashnault (left) and Dan Rinaldi


    ST. LOUIS (March 15, 2012) – Rutgers wrestling team members Billy Ashnault (South Plainfield, N.J.) and Dan Rinaldi (Lodi, N.J.) won their opening matches at the 2012 NCAA Championships inside the Scottrade Center on Thursday. The duo advanced to the second round of their respective weight divisions with the victories. Head coach Scott Goodale’s squad had five NCAA qualifiers compete in the initial session of the tournament.

    Redshirt senior Ashnault will wrestle No. 4 Michael Mangrum of Oregon State in Thursday’s evening session at 7:30 p.m. ET. Rinaldi, a redshirt junior, takes on No. 2 Chris Honeycutt of Edinboro.

    Ashnault advanced with a closely contested win over Northern Iowa’s Levi Wolfensperger. The Scarlet Knight and Panther battled to a 1-1 tie though three regulation periods and one minute of sudden victory overtime. Ashnault then rode Wolfensperger from the top position through the first 30-second portion of the following tiebreaker period. RU’s three-time NCAA qualifier took his turn in the down position for the second half of the tiebreaker and promptly escaped to take a 2-1 lead. Ashnault avoided Wolfensperger’s takedown attempts to win the match and advance.

    Rinaldi went right to work against Kent State’s Keith Witt, working to a 4-0 lead after the first period. The three-time NCAA qualifier added a reversal and escape in the second period to set the score at 7-2, then held his foe scoreless in third. Rinaldi used a riding time advantage of 1:28 to win the match 8-2 and move forward. The win was Rinaldi’s second over the Golden Flash wrestler this season, as the Scarlet Knight took a 5-3 win at the NWCA National Duals event in the RAC on Feb. 11.

    The Scarlet Knights won two of a possible five matches to start the tournament, with Mario Mason (Moorestown, N.J.), Scott Winston (Jackson, N.J.) and Greg Zannetti (Edison, N.J.) dropping into the consolation rounds of their respective weight classes.

    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). Fans can receive timely information, including special offers and giveaways throughout the year on our social media outlets along with www.ScarletKnights.com.

    2012 NCAA Championships

    141 pounds: Billy Ashnault (1-0)
    Levi Wolfensperger (UNI)                         W, 2-1 (TB1)
    No. 4 Michael Mangrum (OSU)               Session II

    149 pounds: Mario Mason (0-1)
    Josh Wilson (Utah Valley)                        L, 4-2 (SV)
    Augustus Sako (Virginia)                          Session II

    165 pounds: Scott Winston (0-1)
    No. 12 P.J. Gillespie (Hofstra)                  L, 4-3
    Kyle Blevins (Appalachian State)             Session II

    174 pounds: Greg Zannetti (0-1)
    No. 11 Justin Zeerip (Michigan)               L, 3-2
    Joseph (E. Michigan) OR Foxen (Harvard)   Session II

    197 pounds: Dan Rinaldi (1-0)
    Keith Witt (Kent State)                              W, 8-2
    No. 2 Chris Honeycutt (Edinboro)            Session II


    141 pounds - Billy Ashnault vs. Levi Wolfensperger (UNI)

    First period
    No scoring

    Second period
    Wolfensperger defers, Ashnault chooses down

    1:37 Ashnault escape, 1-0

    Third period
    Wolfensperger chooses down
    1:45 Wolfensperger escape, 1-1

    Sudden Victory
    No scoring

    Wolfensperger down
    No scoring
    Ashnault down
    0:25 Ashnault escape, 2-1
    0:11 Ashnault stalling warning

    Final: Ashnault wins by decision, 2-1 (TB1)


    149 pounds – Mario Mason vs. Josh Wilson (Utah Valley)

    First period
    2:16 Mason takedown, 2-0
    2:04 Wilson escape, 2-1

    Second period
    Mason defers, Wilson chooses down
    1:55 Wilson escape, 2-2

    Third period
    Mason chooses neutral
    No scoring

    Sudden Victory
    0:01 Wilson takedown, 4-2

    Final: Wilson wins by decision, 4-2 (SV)


    165 pounds – Scott Winston vs. No. 12 P.J. Gillespie (Hofstra)

    First period
    0:03 Winston takedown, 2-0

    Second period
    Gillespie chooses down
    1:53 Gillespie escape, 2-1
    0:01 Gillespie takedown, 2-3

    Third period
    Winston chooses down
    1:22 Winston caution
    0:24 Winston escape, 3-3
    Gillespie riding time 1:23

    Final: Gillespie wins by decision, 4-3


    174 pounds – Greg Zannetti vs. No. 11 Justin Zeerip (Michigan)

    First period
    0:20 Zeerip takedown, 0-2

    Second period
    Zeerip chooses down
    1:03 Zannetti stalling warning
    1:03 Zeerip caution
    0:53 Zeerip escape, 0-3

    Third period
    Zannetti chooses down
    1:49 Zannetti escape, 1-3
    1:16 Zeerip stalling warning
    0:24 Zeerip stalling warning, 2-3

    Final: Zeerip wins by decision, 3-2


    197 pounds – Dan Rinaldi vs. Keith Witt (Kent State)

    First period
    2:40 Rinaldi takedown, 2-0
    2:03 Rinaldi two-point nearfall, 4-0

    Second period
    Rinaldi chooses down
    1:12 Rinaldi reversal, 6-0
    0:55 Witt Reversal, 6-2
    0:35 Rinaldi escape, 7-2

    Third period
    Witt chooses neutral
    No scoring
    Rinaldi riding time 1:28

    Final: Rinaldi wins by decision, 8-2

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