Nicholson Becomes First CAA Wrestler to Win Four-Straight Titles

March 05, 2011
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

March 5, 2011

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NORFOLK, Va. - Senior James Nicholson defeated Hofstra's Steve Bonanno 5-3 in the finals at 125 pounds to become the first wrestler in CAA history to win four-straight conference championships and second overall to win four championships.

Nicholson, ranked fourth in the nation at 125 pounds, moved to 31-0 on the year.

Fellow senior Kyle Hutter came up just short in his bid for his first conference title, dropping a 2-1 decision to Hofstra's Lou Ruggirello. Ruggirello joins Nicholson as the third CAA wrestler to win four conference championships.

Brennan Brumley and Joey Metzler each went 2-0 on the day to capture third place finishes at 141 and 149, respectively. Brumley defeated Denny Herndon 6-3 to reach advance and defeated Josh Yurasits for the second time in the tournament, this time 9-3, to take third.

Metzler won two tough matches on the day, beating George Mason's Brandon Bucher 4-3 and Hofstra's Zach Clemente 6-5 in the third place match.

Joe Budi and Grant Chapman also each won two matches on the day. Budi won by forfeit to reach the third place match and defeated Boston University's Brock Mantella 3-0 to finish third.

Chapman beat Kevin Innis 4-3 to move on and finished off Evan Craig for the second time in the tournament, 3-1, to take third.

Tristan Warner finished in fourth place at 174 pounds, defeating Binghamton's Ryan McGarity by an 11-3 major decision before falling to top-ranked Rob Morrison of Rider in the third place match.

Hofstra won the overall team championship with 94 points, followed by Binghamton with 78.5 and ODU with 52.5.

With their finished at 125 and 133, Nicholson and Hutter received automatic berths to the NCAA Tournament taking place March 17-19 in Philadelphia, Pa.

Notes: Nicholson is the first CAA Wrestler to win four-consecutive conference championships ... two others have won four championships, Hofstra's Jon Masa won four (2002-03 and 2005-06) and Lou Ruggirello (2007-09 and 2011) ... Nicholson and Ruggirello are the only two wrestlers to win four championships in the same weight class (Masa won his first title at 141 and the next three at 149) ... With his two wins over the weekend, Nicholson now has 134 for his career, four away from tying Chris Brown for most wins in school history.