Wrestling Season Ends at NCAA Championships
Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 19:11
The two Buffalo wrestlers that earned spots in the national championships were quickly sent packing back to Buffalo.
Junior Mark Lewandowski and freshman Max Soria dropped their opening matchups at the NCAA National Championships in St. Louis, Mo. Lewandowski lost in the 165-pound bracket to seven-seeded Josh Asper of Maryland, 5-0. Soria lost 6-1 to Oklahoma’s Jordan Patterson in the 125-pound bracket. Both Bulls were sent to the consolation bracket.
Lewandowski, along with the National Final runner up, Edinboro’s Chris Honeycutt, shared the national leaders for technical falls during the 2011-12 season.
“I’m happy that he received the award,” said head coach Jim Beichner. “[However] that is not why we’re there.”
Lewandowski’s first match would end with a technical fall. Asper, an All-American who had only lost one match this season did not allow Lewandowski to record a point.
“[Asper] probably should have been ranked No. 2 in the tournament,” Beichner said. “He was ranked No. 3 in the country, and 24-1 on the season.”
Although the loss to a tough opponent was still embedded in the mind of the 165-pound wrestler, there were still consolation matches in which Lewandowski could wrestle for next year’s seeding. He was successful in his first consolation match, beating Zach Toal of Missouri 3-1. However, he would drop his last match of the day 6-3 to Conrad Polz of Illinois, eliminating him from the tournament.
“[Mark] wrestled two All-Americans and then a tough kid from Missouri,” Beichner said. “I have never seen it where you wrestle two All-Americans like that.”
Soria began the day matched up against Patterson. The match was a tough opener for a first time National qualifier. He immensely struggled to lead an offensive attack against the seventh seed Patterson and was knocked out of championship contention.
Things would not get easier for the 125-pound grappler as he would also drop his consolation match 7-2 to Michael Martinez of Wyoming.
“[Max] needs to get bigger and stronger and maybe a little bit more aggressive,” Beichner said. “There is a lot of hope that [Soria] is the 125-pounder of the future.”
The Bulls will welcome seniors John-Martin Cannon and Andrew Schute back to the line up to take on the tough competitors in the Mid-American Conference.
“These two guys are going to come in and make our team better,” Beichner said. “We’ve also recruited other guys that can make our team better as well.”