Cortland State's Demitreus Henry and Chandler Merwin Qualify for NCAA Div. III Wrestling Championships
March 02, 2020


ITHACA, N.Y. – Sophomore Demitreus Henry (Brooklyn/Grand Street Campus) won the title at 174 pounds and freshman Chandler Merwin (Walton) finished second at 141 pounds at the NCAA Division III Mideast Regional Wrestling Championships, hosted by Ithaca College, to earn spots in the NCAA Division III Championships.

The top three finishers in each weight class advance to the national championships, which will be held March 13-14 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Cortland finished in fifth place out of 18 schools in the final team standings. Ithaca and TCNJ shared top honors with 144.5 points each. Brockport was third with 116.5, followed by RIT (115.5), Cortland (95.5), Centenary (N.J.) (93.5) and Merchant Marine Academy (61.5) in the top eight.

Henry's opened action Sunday in the semifinals with a 9-6 decision over nationally eighth-ranked Daniel Kilroy of TCNJ. After a scoreless first period, Henry registered three takedowns and an escape in the second to go up 7-6, and he added a penalty point and an escape point in the third. In the finals, Henry led 6-3 after a takedown early in the third period and held on for a 6-5 win over nationally 10th-ranked Dominick Esposito of Merchant Marine Academy. Henry finished the regional with a 4-0 record and will take a 30-5 record into nationals.

Merwin secured his national berth in the semifinals with a dramatic 6-5 overtime win in the first tiebreaker period versus Robert Dinger of TCNJ. Trailing 5-1 late in the third period, Merwin registered a reversal and a near fall for a total of four points to tie the match. Neither wrestler scored in the first sudden-victory overtime period, and Merwin scored the lone point of the first tiebreaker on an escape with 11 seconds left. Merwin lost, 3-1, to Brockport's Eli Sims in the 141-pound title match, with Sims scoring his points on a reversal early in the third and with a riding time point. Merwin went 3-1 on the weekend and is 20-12 this season as he heads to nationals.

Four other Cortland wrestlers on Sunday came up just short – three with fourth-place efforts and one with a fifth-place finish – in their attempts to reach the national championships.

Freshman Cahal Donovan (Marietta/Marcellus) finished in third place at 149 pounds. After winning twice Saturday, Donovan lost in the semifinals Sunday, 5-3, to Ithaca's Ben Brisman. He stayed alive with a 3-1 decision versus Oneonta's Tyler Brazinski on a takedown with three seconds left in the first sudden-victory overtime period, but lost in the third-place match to Muhlenberg's Austin Sherman, 6-4. Donovan went 3-2 on the weekend and finishes the season 19-8.

Freshman Trentyn Rupert (Newark Valley) placed third at 285 pounds. He battled top seed Keegan Connelly of Scranton in the semifinals before losing, 3-2. Connelly took a 3-1 lead on a takedown with less than a minute left. Rupert got an escape with 16 seconds remaining but was unable to score after that. Rupert advanced to the third-place match with a 5-4 win over TCNJ's Tom Marretta, taking a 4-3 lead with a takedown and near fall late in the second period and eventually scoring the decisive point on riding time. Rupert closed the day with a 6-1 loss to RIT's Sam Weinger, and he finishes the season with an 8-3 mark after joining the team late in the year.

Freshman Ben Bivar (Noblesville, IN/Bainbridge-Guilford (NY)) entered Sunday needing three straight wins at 157 pounds to earn a third-place finish. He got two of those victories with an 18-2 technical fall in three minutes versus Brockport's Zack Brown and a 3-0 decision over Stanley Wojdylak of Centenary, scoring on a third-period reversal along with a riding time point. In the third-place match, Bivar faced Oswego's Christian Gramuglia, who had defeated him on Saturday. Bivar lost 7-5 to finish 4-2 for the weekend and 19-7 on the season.

Junior Dylan Dubuque (East Greenbush/Columbia), a national qualifier last year, lost in Sunday's 197-pound semifinals, 13-7, to eventual weight-class champion Quinn Haddad of TCNJ. Dubuque closed an 10-4 lead to 10-7 in the third before Haddad recorded an escape and a takedown in the last 40 seconds. In his first consolation match, Dubuque lost 3-1 in sudden-victory overtime to Jason Carter of Ursinus as Carter notched a takedown with 19 seconds left in the extra session. Dubuque wrapped up the day with a convincing 20-9 major decision over Justin Hopman of Centenary in the fifth-place match. He went 3-2 at the regional and ended the season with a 13-3 record. Dubuque did not wrestle until mid-season as he is also a starting linebacker on Cortland's football team.