Two members of the Clarion Golden Eagles’ wrestling team ended their seasons this past weekend at the 2016 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships held at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Senior Michael Pavasko and freshman Brock Zacherl both competed.
They earned their way to the championships by winning their respective weight classes in the Eastern Wrestling League Championships.
Pavasko won his title at 174 pounds while Zacherl won his 141 weight class.
On the first day of competition, Zacherl won his first-ever NCAA Tournament match by defeating Bucknell’s Tyler Smith 7-3.
He fell in the quarterfinal match later in the day to Stanford’s Joey McKenna.
In Zacherl’s win against Smith, he scored two quick, clean takedowns to take a 4-2 lead at the end of the first period.
Zacherl, the 15th-seeded wrestler, began the second period in the top position and added to his riding time advantage over his opponent.
The second period ended with Zacherl up 4-3.
In the third period, Zacherl used his riding time advantage to keep control of the match.
When Smith did escape, Zacherl down to the mat with under a minute left to gain a 7-3 decision.
Zacherl’s loss to McKenna was a defensive battle throughout, ending in a 4-2 decision with ride time advantage.
As with Zacherl, Pavasko also finished the first day of the championships with a 1-1 record.
In his first match of the day, Pavasko lost a major decision (15-3) to 12th-seeded Nathan Jackson from Indiana.
Pavasko recorded his first win of the event in the first round of the wrestle-backs when he defeated Stanford’s Keaton Subjeck in a physical match by a score of 7-4.
Pavasko went aggressive early on, taking a 2-1 lead at the end of the first period.
With fewer than 30 seconds remaining in the second, Pavasko scored a takedown and got earned near-fall points and increased his lead to 6-2.
At the end of the third and final period, Subjeck missed a late takedown and the opportunity to score two points.
Both Golden Eagle wrestlers concluded their time in New York with losses in the consolation bracket.
Zacherl fell in an 8-5 decision to Princeton’s Jordan Laster, while Pavasko lost on a technical fall 16-0 to Bryce Hammond of Cal-State Bakersfield.
Zacherl finished his freshman year with an impressive 28-3 record.
Pavasko, whose collegiate career ended at the NCAA Championships this past weekend, concluded his senior season with a 22-15 overall record.
“My appreciation for the opportunities, memories and friendships that I have had here is unmeasurable,” Pavasko said. “I feel proud to say that I was and will always be a Golden Eagle.”
For a recap of the consolation matches, click here.