GLEN ALLEN, Va. (March. 2, 2014) – Redshirt freshman Anthony Ashnault (South Plainfield, N.J.) and freshman Scott DelVecchio (South Plainfield, N.J.) posted perfect records Sunday at the National Collegiate Open, going 5-0 and 3-0, respectively, to become NCO All-Americans.
RU’s two champions in the 141-pound Ashnault and 133-pound DelVecchio marks the second time since 2009 the program had multiple champions at the National Collegiate Open.
The Scarlet Knights had three crowned champion in 2011, when current director of wrestling operations Billy Ashnault won the title at 141 pounds, Anthony Volpe took first at 157 pounds and Greg Zannetti won at 174 pounds.
Ashnault won his first two bouts by tech fall over Virginia’s Mason Popham (22-7) and Bloomsburg’s Colby J. Baker (17-2) to move into the championship quarterfinals at 141 pounds. From there Ashnault won three consecutive decisions, culminating with an 8-3 win over Virginia’s Andrew Atkinson in the finals to earn the championship. Ashnault wrapped up his redshirt year at 15-3, with each of his three losses coming by two points or less.
DelVecchio, who began the season as RU’s starter at 125 pounds, bumped back to 133 later in the season. He topped Virginia Tech’s Kevin Norstrem to open the NCO in a rematch from earlier in the season, when DelVecchio fell, 3-2, in tiebreakers at the “Shorty” Hitchcock Memorial Classic (Jan. 19). He beat Norstrem, 4-2, in overtime to avenge his loss, following that up with a 6-3 victory over Utah Valley’s Jed Mellen and a 6-4 win over Central Michigan’s Tyler Keselring in the finals to claim the championship. He wrapped up his rookie campaign at 20-7 and 4-3 in dual action for the Scarlet Knights.
Freshman 125-pounder Josh Patrick (Ligonier Valley, Pa.) went 5-1 on the afternoon, pinning four of his five opponents en route to a third place finish. The strong tournament gave Patrick his third place-winning performance of his rookie season, as he finished fifth/sixth at the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open and won the Messiah Open.
After losing, 3-1, to Oklahoma State’s Austin Miller – the eventual champion – in his opening bout, Patrick won five matches in a row to finish in third place.
Sophomore Ethan Orr (Wantage, N.J.) took fourth place at 184 pounds, going 2-2 on the afternoon. He was narrowly edged, 3-1, in the third-place bout by Northern Colorado’s Trent Noon, after topping Noon, 7-2, in his opening match of the tournament.
RU’s final placewinner of the open was redshirt freshman 133-pounder Jalen Ramos (Bayville, N.J.), who took sixth place. He won his first bout, 5-2, over Purdue’s Luke Schroeder, before dropping three in a row to finish sixth. Schroeder topped Ramos in the fifth/sixth place bout, 1-0, to take fifth place.
The National Collegiate Open Wrestling Championship is a collegiate wrestling event that serves as a post season championship for NCAA Division-I athletes that are not wrestling in their school's national qualifying tournament.
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