BETHLEHEM, PA – Rutgers 141-pound junior Steve Adamcsik (Chester, NJ) won two matches before having his personal 22-match winning streak snapped by a 5-1 loss to eventual second-place finisher Max Meltzer in the quarterfinals of the EIWA Championships at Lehigh on Saturday and Sunday. Adacmsik finished fifth overall in the class and earned a wildcard bid to compete in the NCAA Championships at Oklahoma City, OK, on March 17-19. Host-team Lehigh won its fifth consecutive EIWA Conference title as Rutgers University finished 10th out of 13 teams with 15 points.
Adamcsik extended his winning streak to 22 matches with wins over Princeton’s Eric Marcotulli and Cornell’s Charles Easter in the first and second rounds, but saw the impressive run come to an end in the semifinals against Meltzer.
After his loss to Meltzer, the No. 3 seeded Adamcsik fell to Penn’s Cesar Grajales, but rebounded in his final bout, earning a 16-0 tech-fall at the 2:41 mark over Navy’s Spencer Manley. Adamcsik began his 22-match unbeaten streak against Manley on Nov. 12, 2005 and leads the Scarlet Knights with a 28-6 record on the season.
While the top-three finishers in each weight class earn automatic bids to compete in the NCAA Championships, because of the strength of the 141-pound class, Adamcsik earned one of the two additional wildcard bids for his efforts at Lehigh.
Rutgers 184-pound senior Rudy Medini (Colonia, NJ) entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed but struggled after an 7-0 win over Franklin & Marshall’s Richard Norley. Medini collided with Penn’s Dustin Wiles in the semifinal round and suffered a loss by pin at the 4:02 mark to the eventual third-place finisher. The loss by pin was just Medini’s second of the season.
No. 8 seed freshman Lamar Brown (Red Bank, NJ) dropped a tight 3-0 decision to third-place finisher Charles Martin of the United States Military Academy and sophomore Jamie Lijo (Hopatcong, NJ) fell in a 9-3 decision to sixth-place finisher Brian Rowan, also of Army.
For much of the 2005-2006 season, Rutgers head coach John Sacchi has gone to battle with freshmen at five of the 10 starting weight classes and has seen steady improvement throughout the year and Adamcsik’s bid to compete in the NCAA Championships was an honor well deserved. Adamcsik bid marks the sixth consecutive season that Sacchi has sent at least one grappler to the NCAA Championships.
“We are extremely pleased that [Adamcsik] was able to qualify for the NCAA’s,” Sacchi said. “He worked incredibly hard this season on his body and his wrestling and we are just thrilled that his hard work has been rewarded.”
Despite some inconsistencies, the Scarlet Knights will benefit for years to come from the valuable mat time earned by Brown, 174-Mike Whalen (Lake Hiawatha, NJ), 133-Kellen Bradley (Hampton, NJ), 165-Matt Pletcher (East Hampton, NJ) and 285-Mike D’Amico (Kenilworth, NJ) during their first seasons at RU.
Adamcsik will head to Oklahoma City, OK as the lone-Rutgers representative on March 16-18 to take part in the 76th Annual NCAA Championships at the Ford Center.