Narrow First-Round Losses Lead to Early Exits for SJU Wrestlers

HERSHEY, Pa. – Both Saint John’s wrestlers exited the NCAA Division III Championships with two losses on Friday, March 13, in Hershey, Pa.

Saint John's JohnniesSenior Ryan Michaelis (Monticello, Minn.), who is ranked as high as ninth at 197 pounds, started the tournament with a hard-fought 7-5 loss to the fourth seed, No. 2/4 Joe Giaramita of Cortland State (N.Y.). A first-period takedown and 1:54 of riding time proved to be the difference in his second loss of the day to Johnathan Secor of Lycoming (Pa.). Secor stalled for nearly the entire third period and was called for the penalty twice in the 4-2 decision. A three-time national entrant, Michaelis ended the season with a 12-4 record.

Junior Ben Henle (Spicer, Minn./New London-Spicer), who was ranked as high seventh but did not receive a seed in the tournament, went 0-2 at 141 pounds to finish 26-10 on the season. He suffered a heartbreaking 4-3 defeat to New York University’s Brandon Jones, the fourth seed who is ranked No. 3 nationally, in the first round. Henle gained a 3-2 lead on a takedown with 20 seconds remaining in the match, but surrendered the deciding takedown on the edge of the mat with one second left. The officials reviewed the video replay and confirmed the decision. Down 2-1 in the second period of his first consolation bout, Henle exited the tournament via fall (4:49) in his first consolation match to North Central’s (Ill.) Layten Binion, who is ranked ninth in the country.

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