No longer under the radar
At his third school, Nick Carr has breakout year at Wash. & Jeff.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Rarely are wrestlers "under the radar" anymore. Video technology and the Internet mean anybody with high school credentials or success at any time on a wrestling mat does not go unnoticed.
Enter Nick Carr.
Carr wrestled just nine matches, not suffering a defeat, during the regular season. He was seeded sixth in his bracket.
An academic career that started at Division I Kent State where he won 20 matches in 2011-12, led back to Seton Hill (in Greensburg, Pa.) and eventually to Washington, Pa.
"[Nick] has worked out at the school over the summers, so we've known him for a while," Washington & Jefferson head coach Tommy Prairie said. "When things at Seton Hill didn't work out we wanted him to stay at home and commute."
"I was already familiar with [Washington & Jefferson] and I was looking for a positive environment," said Carr, a native of South Fayette, Pa. "Coming out of high school I went to college to wrestle, which was one of the biggest mistakes I could have made in my life. School is very important to me. Division I wasn't what I thought it was and right now I am really happy where I am, having fun again.
"I don't know if it is an upset [beating Burdge and making the finals]. I really [wrestle] for fun and I think that helps. I like to work out, to compete … wrestling."
Added Prairie, "The types of programs he was at before had different motivations, were not what he was looking for. We just stay out of his way and encourage him. He is a 4.0 student and not an issue at all; he is one of our leaders."
Five wrestlers entered the tournament without a seed, but advanced to the championship semifinals. A semifinal loser can do no worse than sixth.
Two 141-pounders -- Chicago's Charlie Banaszak and Johnson & Wales (R.I.)'s Michael Ferende -- and two 184-pounders -- Caleb Malychewski of Pacific (Ore.) and Christopher Chorpeza of Williams lost their semifinal bouts. Banaszak, from Bethesda, Md., and Chorpeza, from Newington, Conn., are freshmen.
Waynesburg 174-pounder Anthony Bonaventura (36-3) went one better, beating Coe's second-seeded Ethan Ball on Friday night and Wisconsin-Oshkosh's Dan Schiferl, the third seed, in the semifinals. The giant killer gets Wartburg's Landon Williams, a 2012 national champion, in Saturday's finals.
Fifteen other unseeded wrestlers earned All-American honors this weekend. They are: Concordia (Wis.) 125-pounder Sean Ambrocio; 133-pounders Jacoby Bergeron of Concordia-Morehead and the Coast Guard's Nate Giorgiio; Johns Hopkins 141-pounder Henry Stauber; 149-pounders Elroy Perkin of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Dubuque's Nick Drendel; 157-pounders Richard Jasiniski of Ursinus and Johnson & Wales' Everet Desilets; three 165-pounders (Stephen Aiello of Wheaton, Dylan Foley of Springfield, and Colin Crowell of Roger Williams); Coe's Ryan Sheldon (184) and Donnie Homer (197); and two 285-pounders (Ricky Caruso of Bridgewater State and Mackenzie Green of Trine).
The 174-pound bracket is the only one without a top eight finisher by a wrestler not seeded inside the top eight to start the week. Twenty of the 80 All-Americans this weekend were not seeded.