ST. LOUIS (March 16, 2012) – Billy Ashnault (South Plainfield, N.J.) will aim to clinch All-America status in Friday’s evening session at the 2012 NCAA Championships inside the Scottrade Center. The Rutgers 141-pound redshirt senior has won two consecutive matches in the consolation rounds of his weight to position himself against No. 6 Boris Novachkov of Cal Poly to make the award stand. Friday’s Session IV is set to begin at 7 p.m. ET.
Ashnault defeated two seeded foes to continue his fight to be an All-American, first edging No. 10 Jake Sueflohn of Nebraska by a score of 5-4. The Scarlet Knight escaped with 27 seconds remaining in the bout to earn the decisive final point.
In the following match against No. 12 Tyler Small of Kent State, Ashnault used a riding time advantage of 2:00 to earn the winning point in the otherwise scoreless contest, 1-0. The win by Ashnault avenged a 4-2 loss to the Golden Flash wrestler at the NWCA National Duals regional inside the RAC on Feb. 11. Ashnault dropped a close 1-0 decision to Novachkov in double overtime (TB1) at the same event.
Ashnault has the chance to become Rutgers’ first All-American since Tom Tanis battled to fourth-place at 184 pounds in 2002. Ashnault would also earn the first All-America honor of head coach Scott Goodale’s tenure “On the Banks”.
Greg Zannetti (Edison, N.J.) and Dan Rinaldi (Lodi, N.J.) concluded their respective runs at the NCAA Championships in Friday’s morning session. Zannetti compiled a 1-2 record at 174 pounds in the first NCAA trip of his career, falling from action in the tournament after dropping a 6-3 result to Missouri’s Dorian Henderson. Zannetti finished his junior campaign as the team leader in wins with his 31-6 record.
Rinaldi, a three-time NCAA qualifier, dropped from the 197-pound consolation bracket after a tight 2-1 decision went to Bloomsburg’s Richard Perry. Rinaldi went 1-2 in his trip to St. Louis to end his junior season with a 26-8 record.
The Rutgers team stands in a tie with Columbia and Princeton for 43rd-place overall with six team points.
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2012 NCAA Championships
141 pounds: Billy Ashnault (3-1)
Levi Wolfensperger (UNI) W, 2-1 (TB1)
No. 4 Michael Mangrum (Oregon State) L-D, 5-4
No. 10 Jake Sueflohn (Nebraska) W-D, 5-4
No. 12 Tyler Small (Kent State) W-D, 1-0
No. 6 Boris Novachkov (Cal Poly) Session IV
174 pounds: Greg Zannetti (1-2)
No. 11 Justin Zeerip (Michigan) L-D, 3-2
Phillip Joseph (Eastern Michigan) W-D, 7-3
Dorian Henderson (Missouri) L-D, 6-3
197 pounds: Dan Rinaldi (1-2)
Keith Witt (Kent State) W-D, 8-2
No. 2 Chris Honeycutt (Edinboro) L-D, 6-3
Richard Perry (Bloomsburg) L-D, 2-1
141 pounds - Billy Ashnault vs. No. 10 Jake Sueflohn (Nebraska)
1:45 Ashnault takedown, 2-0
0:30 Sueflohn escape, 2-1
0:06 Ashnault takedown, 4-1
Ashnault defers, Sueflohn chooses down
1:28 Ashnault stalling warning
0:32 Sueflohn reversal, 4-3
Ashnault chooses down
1:07 Ashnault stalling warning, 4-4
0:27 Ashnault escape, 5-4
Final: Ashnault wins by decision, 5-4
141 pounds - Billy Ashnault vs. No. 12 Tyler Small (Kent State)
Small chooses down
Ashnault chooses neutral
0:03 Ashnault stalling warning
Ashnault riding time 2:00
Final: Ashnault wins by decision, 1-0
174 pounds – Greg Zannetti vs. Dorian Henderson (Missouri)
Henderson defers, Zannetti chooses down
1:41 Zannetti escape, 1-0
1:30 Zannetti takedown, 3-0
1:03 Henderson escape, 3-1
0:47 Henderson stalling warning
0:11 Henderson takedown, 3-3
Henderson chooses down
1:02 Henderson escape, 3-4
0:30 Henderson takedown, 3-6
Final: Henderson wins by decision, 6-3
197 pounds – Dan Rinaldi vs. Richard Perry (Bloomsburg)
Rinaldi chooses down
1:55 Rinaldi escape, 1-0
0:20 Perry takedown, 1-2
Perry chooses neutral
Final: Perry wins by decision, 2-1