Oneonta State's Bethel national runner-up; Sisco earns All-American honors
March 10, 2018


Cleveland, OH. – SUNY Oneonta seniors James Bethel (Saugerties/Saugerties) and Austin Sisco (Denville, NJ/Pope John) earned All-American honors today after finishing in the top-8 in their respective weight classes at the 2018 NCAA championships in Cleveland, Ohio. Bethel, who is earning All-American honors for a third time, made history by wrestling in the championship match at 285 pounds finishing as runner-up. Sisco finished in fourth place at 133 pounds to earn his first All-American honor.

In the championship match, Bethel was defeated by the No. 5 seeded Jake Evans of Waynesburg 10-5. Evans, seeded fifth, knocked off the No. 1 seed Lance Evans of Wartburg 8-6 to reach the championship match.

After an early takedown by Evans, Bethel scored an escape and a takedown of his own to grab a 3-2 lead. Evans was then called for stalling giving Bethel one point for a 4-2 lead midway through the second period. Evans continued to battle scoring a takedown right at the end of the second period to pull within 5-4 entering the final period. Midway through the third period Evans took Bethel down and had him in a near fall to score six points to take command at 10-5, which is how the match ended.

Bethel opened the tournament yesterday with a pin of Tyler Ortmann of Cornell College in 3:20. In the next round he continued to show efficiency with a pin in 1:10 against Nico Ramirez of Southern Vermont.

In the semifinals, Bethel wrestled a familiar foe in Jake O'Brien of Ithaca. The two had met twice during the season the last time coming in the championship match of the Mideast regional where Bethel beat O'Brien by a score of 3-2. Midway through the second period, Bethel was able to get O'Brien on his back where he finished him off recording the pin in 3:48.

Sisco, who was seeded seventh, opened up the last tournament of his collegiate career with a pin over Tyler Demo of Wisconsin Eau-Claire in 4:07. He advanced to the quarterfinals with a victory over Hunter Harris of Messiah via decision 11-4. Sisco then fell to the No. 3 seed and eventual national champion Brock Rathburn of Wartburg by major decision 11-0 in the semifinals.

Falling into the consolation wrestle back side of the bracket, Sisco recorded an 8-4 decision over Anthony Munoz of Elmhurst to reach the third place match. In the 3rd place match, he was pinned by the No. 1 seed from Stevens Troy Stanich in 1:50. Sisco finished the day 3-2 to finish the year with a 37-7 record.

Overall, the Red Dragons had its best team standing all-time finishing tied for tenth with 34.5 points. The overall team championship went to Wartburg.

The Red Dragons were also honored on Thursday as a top 25 NWCA Division III National Scholar All-American Team finishing 15th nationally with a 3.487 GPA. Sisco, Bethel, and sophomores Kevin Knox (Stormville/Carmel) and Ahken Chu (Patterson/Carmel) were honored as individual Scholar All-Americans.