No. 3 Ithaca Earns Mideast Regional Team Championship, Qualifies Seven for Nationals
February 25, 2018


ITHACA, N.Y. – The third-ranked Ithaca College wrestling team was back on the mats inside Ithaca College's Athletics & Events Center on Sunday when it had nine grapplers still alive on the final day of 2018 NCAA Mideast Regional Qualifying. When the blood, sweat and cheers finally died down inside Glazer Arena it was the Bombers that came out on top, qualifying seven wrestlers for the NCAA Division III National Championships en route to taking the Mideast Region Team Championship with 145.0 points.

Ithaca entered the day with a healthy lead in the team standings over eventual team runner-up Stevens Institute of Technology. With eight grapplers still alive in the Championship Semifinal Round and another wrestler still battling in the Wrestle-back Rounds, IC seemed poised for a big day on Sunday. The Bombers lived up to most of those hopes, as six wrestlers punched their ticket to Nationals in Cleveland, Ohio, with wins in their respective Semifinal Round bouts during the morning session. Junior 125-pounder Ferdinand Mase, sophomore 141-pounder Ben Brisman (5th NWCA | 4th, senior 165-pounder Nick Velez (4th NWCA | 3rd, senior 174-pounder Jaison White (8th NWCA), junior 184-pounder Jake Ashcraft (1st NWCA | 1st and junior heavyweight Jake O'Brien (2nd NWCA | 2nd each scored wins in the morning to make the title bout of their respective divisions.

The afternoon session was headlined by two performances. Sophomore 133-pounder Tito Colom battled through the wrestle-backs after falling to unanimous No. 1-ranked Troy Stanich of Stevens Institute of Technology in his first matchup of the day; Stanich went on to be named Most Outstanding Wrestler in a vote by the 17 head coaches at the meet. Colom won twice in the wrestle-backs, punching his ticket to the finals after defeating TCNJ's James Goldschmidt in a 5-2 decision in the third-place match. Ashcraft put the cap on Ithaca's dominant team victory with a second-period pin of Cortland's Deuly Espinal in the 184-pound title bout, scoring the Bombers lone regional championship of the afternoon session.

With Sunday's performance, the Bombers are poised to have the most wrestlers competing at the National Championships since Ithaca sent eight to the year-end tournament in 2011.