Monarchs finish fourth in CAA Conference Championship
Chapel Hill, NC. (March 3) - George Mason crowned six individual champions en route to winning the 2001 Colonial Athletic Association Conference Championship. The CAA Championship, hosted by the University of North Carolina, ran in conjunction with the Atlantic Coast Conference and Southern Conference Championships. This first time event, known as Mat Jam 2001, packed the bleachers in Charmichael Auditorium on the UNC campus.
The George Mason Patriots placed all 10 of their wrestlers into the semifinals and 7 of their wrestlers in the finals en route to 105.5 points, bettering their team high of 101.5 set in 1997. George Mason's six individual champions ties the CAA Championships record set by James Madison University at last year's event.
James Madison was the runner-up scoring 73.5 points. Campbell (an associate member of the CAA for wrestling) placed third with 61.5 points, followed closely by Old Dominion with 60 points. American University competed for individual honors but not for team awards. American did produce the "Outstanding Wrestler" of the evening. Marc Hoffer, the eventual winner in the 149 pound weight class, was chosen for the honor.
Each of the 10 weight class champions and three "wild card" selections earned berthes in the NCAA Championships, which are scheduled for March 15-17 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. The three "wild cards" are Denis Alampiev from American, Pat Diaz from James Madison and George Mason's Adrian Austin.
The Patriots started the finals off with 6-3 win by Sean Shea over Campbell's Andy Bricker. They continued their streak with a win at 133 by Matt Hunckler, 12-2 over Adam Doherty of Campbell. 141 pound Donnie DeFilippis brought Mason's total to 3 champions as he beat James Madison's Pat Diaz 6-2. In the 157 bout, Sean Early pulled out a 6-5 decision in the final moments of the match against Old Dominion's Jesse Pearce. George Mason had another close match at 165 where Tony Howard and American's Denis Alampiev went into sudden death and eventually a tie breaker where Howard won. After not having a finalist for three weight classes, the Patriots won the Heavyweight match-up and put an exclamation point on their evening. Brent Lancaster registered a fall at 4:51 against CU's Black.
Other notable performances were turned in by Jeff Rusak of Old Dominion, Dave Colabella of James Madison, Ryan Pallinger of American and the aforementioned Marc Hoffer. Jeff Rusak defeated James Madison's Nathan Rickman 5-3. Dave Colabella beat ODU's Matt Small 4-2 and Ryan Pallinger narrowly defeated JMU's Steve Kodish in sudden death, 3-1. Hoffer was victorious over George Mason's Adrian Austin 14-4.
TEAM SCORES* George Mason 105.5 James Madison 73.5 Campbell 61.5 Old Dominion 60 American * CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS 125 Shea (GMU) def Bricker (CU) 6-3 133 Hunckler (GMU) def Doherty (CU) 5-2 141 DeFilippis (GMU) def Diaz (JMU) 6-2 149 Hoffer (AU) def Austin (GMU) 14-4 157 Early (GMU) def Pearce (ODU) 6-5 165 Howard (GMU) def Alampiev (AU) 4-4 (Tie Breaker) 174 Rusak (ODU) def Rickman (JMU) 5-3 184 Colabella (JMU) def Small (ODU) 4-2 197 Pallinger (AU) def Kodish (JMU) 3-1 (SD) HWT Lancaster (GMU) def Black (CU) Fall 4:51 CONSOLATION FINALS 125 Harris (AU) def Head (JMU) 6-3 133 Monzo (AU) def Epps (ODU) 11-9 141 Romano (ODU) def Bricker (CU) 16-8 149 Consolvo (JMU) def Wrinkle (CU) 4-1 157 Fultz (JMU) def Cox (CU) 3-1 165 Nixon (CU) def Brubaker (JMU) 8-6 174 Webster (GMU) def McConnell (CU) 3-2 184 Campbell (GMU) def Pfeffer (CU) Injury default 197 Christian (CU) def Frook (GMU) 2-1 HWT Lorthridge (ODU) def Hyman (AU) 4-3
Steve Bernhardt - Head
*Wrestlers from American University participated only as individuals in the CAA Wrestling Championship. Team points for American University were not accumulated.