The Road to the 84th NCAA Wrestling Championship
Navy 133-pound Colton Rasche is making his first appearance at the NCAA Championship.
March 19, 2014
84th NCAA Championship
Date: March 20-22, 2014
Location: Oklahoma City, Okla.
Venue: Chesapeake Energy Arena (19,599)
History: Navy's best finish was fourth in 1954 ... the Mids finished tied for 49th last year ... Penn State is the defending champion.
Television: Preliminary Sessions and Medal Round on ESPNU, ESPN3 and WatchESPN, Semifinals and Championship Finals on ESPN. Additionally, the entire tournament will be abailable via WatchESPN.
Live Stats: Available via TrackWrestling.com
Schedule of Events (CT)
Thursday, March 20
Session 1 (Pigtails, Round of 32): 11:00 am, ESPNU and WatchESPN
Session 2 (Round of 16, Wrestleback Prelims): 6:00 pm, ESPNU and WatchESPN
Friday, March 21
Session 3 (Quarterfinals, Wrestlebacks): 10:00 am, ESPNU and WatchESPN
Session 4 (Semifinals, Wrestlebacks): 7:00 pm, ESPN and WatchESPN
Saturday, March 22
Session 5 (Consolation Semifinals, Medal Rounds 3rd-8th): 10:00 am, ESPNU and WatchESPN
Session 6 (Championship Finals): 7:00 pm, ESPN and WatchESPN
Four members of the Navy wrestling team will begin their quest for a national title on Thursday morning when they make journey Oklahoma City, Okla. for the 84th NCAA Wrestling Championship held at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Session 1 of the tournament is set to begin at 11:00 am (central) / 12:00 pm (eastern).
Representing Navy are two-time NCAA qualifiers Peyton Walsh (Glen Allen, Va.) at 165 pounds and sophomore 174-pound Mathew Miller (Edgewood, Md.), along with 133-pound junior Colton Rasche (Plano, Ill.) and junior 174-pound Paul Rands (Cary, Ill.) who will make their debut at the national tournament.
Two of Navy's NCAA qualifiers earned automatic berths via their placement at the EIWA Championship held at The Palestra in Philadelphia, on March 8-9, including Mathew Miller who was crowned the 2014 EIWA 174-Pound Champion. Walsh and Rasche punched their tickets to participate in the NCAA Championship via wild card invitations.
Navy has placed among the top 25 in three of the last seven championships, including back-to-back 18th-place finishes in 2007 and `08 which is its best placement since 1990 when Navy finished 13th.
The program's best finish in NCAA Tournament action was a fourth-place finish in 1954.
Navy has won three national titles, by two men - Pete Blair won the 191-pound title in 1954 and `55, while Dan Muthler earned the crown in 1973 at 142 pounds.
At least one Navy wrestler has participated in the NCAA Championship in each of the last 18 years.
This is Navy's 66th NCAA Tournament appearance and first under interim head coach Brian Antonelli ... in addition to winning three individual titles, 61 All-America citations have been awarded to Navy wrestlers over the years.
133 - Colton Rasche (24-11) vs. (2) A.J. Schopp, Edinboro (31-1)
165 - Peyton Walsh (25-11) vs. (6) Corey Mock, Chattanooga (30-3)
174 - (16) Mathew Miller (21-4) vs. Tony Dallago, Illinois (20-11)
197 - Paul Rands (18-9) vs. (1) Nick Heflin, Ohio State (24-1)
133 -- Colton Rasche, Jr. (24-11, 4-2 dual)
Making his NCAA Championship debut, Rasche will face second-seeded and second-ranked A.J. Schopp of Edinboro in his opening-round bout ... a three-time EWL Champion, Schopp is making his third trip to the NCAA Championship ... a year ago Schopp placed fourth after dropping his semifinals match to top-seeded Logan Stieber of Ohio State ... Rasche and Schopp met up in the championship bout of the season-opening Michigan State Open where Schopp pinned Rasche at 4:26 and dealt the Navy junior his first loss of the year.
Holds a 7-5 record against the field.
Placed eighth at the EIWA Championship, but needed a wild card to get into the NCAA Championship.
Has reached 20-plus wins for the first time in his career ... as a freshman he was 3-1 and last year was 19-12.
Heads into the tournament having won seven of his last 10 matches.
165 -- Peyton Walsh, Jr. (25-11, 6-0 dual)
Entering the tournament with a 6-6 record against the NCAA field, Walsh is making his second consecutive NCAA Championship appearanced
Suffered an injury and did not compete in the EIWA Championship ... he received a wild card via the NCAA.
Unseeded, he will battle face sixth-seeded Corey Mock of Chattanooga who owns a 30-3 record and is ranked seventh nationally ... Mock dealt Walsh a 3-2 loss in the championship bout of the Navy Classic in late November ... Mock was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler at the SoCon Championship after not allowing a takedown in his three wins ... a transfer from North Carolina, he is making his third trip to the NCAA Championship.
Dropped matches against Indiana's Ryan Leblanc (6-1) and Ohio State's Mark Martin (6-1) a year ago in his NCAA debut.
Needs five wins to reach the 30-win club becoming only the 30th different wrestler to do so in school history ... Navy's leader in wins, he is one of just three wrestlers who have captured 20 or more wins this season.
Walsh's 25 wins are tied as the fifth most at the 165-pound weight class in school history ... the record is 31 set by Frank Edwards in 2002-03 and later tied by Matt DeMichiel in 2008-09 ... a year ago Walsh finished with a 28-13 record, the fourth-most wins at 165 pounds
174 -- Mathew Miller, So. (24-5, 5-2 dual)
Earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship after winning the 174-pound title at the EIWA Championship.
Ranked the entire season, Miller owns a 5-2 record against the field and is ranked eighth heading into the Championship with a 24-5 record ... Miller lost both of his NCAA Championship bouts a year ago vs. John-Martin Cannon of Buffalo (5-4) and Austin Gabel of Virginia Tech (5-1).
Navy's only seeded wrestler, he received the 16th seed and will face redshirt senior Tony Dallago of Illinois, who placed fifth at the Big Ten Championship ... Dallago has a 5-6 all-time record at the NCAA Championship and heads into the tournament with a 20-11 mark this season ... he is the program's record holder for career pins with 38.
Miller heads into the tournament having won 10 straight matches, including four at the EIWA Championship two weeks ago.
Has won 22 matches over his two-year career via fall, including 12 this season ... he is tied for ninth on Navy's single-season pins list ... it's the most since heavyweight Ed Prendergast won 15 matches by way of fall during the 2007-08 season ... meanwhile, the 22 pins are tied for 15th on Navy's career list.
He was the 2014 Billy Sheridan Memorial Award winner which is given to the wrestler who scores the most falls in the least amount of time at the EIWA Championship ... he pinned three of his four opponents in 10:14 ... he is the first Navy wrestler to win the award since 1992 when Jamie Cummings received the award.
197 -- Paul Rands, Jr. (18-9, 5-1 dual)
Earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship after placing fourth at the EIWA Championship ... this is Rands' first appearance at the NCAA Championship.
Owns a solid 8-3 record against the field, however he will face a tough challenge in his opener ... he will face top-seeded and third-ranked Nick Heflin of Ohio State ... the redshirt senior earned the No. 1 seed after securing his first Big Ten title two weeks ago ... a two-time All-American, Heflin is 24-1 on the season.
Has produced an 18-9 overall record and heads into the tournament having won 11 of his last 13 matches.
### Go Navy ###