ST. LOUIS (March 16, 2012) – Billy Ashnault (South Plainfield, N.J.) had the best tournament of his wrestling career, but could not find the necessary points to topple 2011 NCAA 141-pound runner-up Boris Novachkov of Cal Poly, dropping a 6-3 result to end his 2012 NCAA Championships inside the Scottrade Center. The redshirt senior compiled a 3-2 record in his final national meet as a Rutgers wrestler, upsetting two seeded opponents on his way to the consolation round of 12, where he fell to his Mustang foe one victory shy of securing All-America honors.
Ashnault struck first in the match, scoring a takedown with 56 seconds on the clock in the first period. Novachkov escaped prior to the initial period ending to set the score at 2-1. In second period action, the Cal Poly wrestler added a second escape to knot the score at 2-2.
Heading into the decisive final period, Ashnault elected to start in neutral position, having built a 1:12 advantage in riding time. Novachkov narrowly came out on top of an intense scramble to score a takedown, taking a 4-2 lead with 1:38 left in the match. Ashnault lost his riding time due to the controlling ride of Novachkov, escaping with 19 seconds remaining. The Scarlet Knight went right after the Mustang, but surrendered a takedown while trying to land one of his own to set the final score at 6-3.
Ashnault finished his collegiate wrestling career with an 86-61 overall record and three NCAA Championship qualifications, including two trips to the tournament in the Scarlet Knight singlet. He qualified for the tournament as a freshman at Lock Haven before transferring to Rutgers after his sophomore season.
Rutgers, led by head coach Scott Goodale, was represented by five wrestlers at the 2012 NCAA Championships. Greg Zannetti (Edison, N.J.) and Dan Rinaldi (Lodi, N.J.) compiled records of 1-2 at 174 pounds and 197 pounds, respectively, before bowing out of the competition. Scott Winton (Jackson, N.J.) surrendered two decisions to drop out of action at 165 pounds, while Mario Mason (Moorestown, N.J.) fell in his initial match at 149 pounds before medically forfeiting from the tournament.
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2012 NCAA Championships
141 pounds: Billy Ashnault (3-2)
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) L-D, 6-3
141 pounds - Billy Ashnault vs. No. 6 Boris Novachkov (Cal Poly)
0:56 Ashnault takedown, 2-0
0:39 Novachkov escape, 2-1
Ashnault defers, Novachkov chooses down
1:11 Ashnault stalling warning
1:04 Novachkov escape, 2-2
Ashnault chooses neutral
1:38 Novachkov takedown, 2-4
0:19 Ashnault escape, 3-4
0:02 Novachkov takedown, 3-6
Final: Novachkov wins by decision, 6-3