CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, March 15, 2014 – Williams College’s Chris Chorzepa, a freshman from Newington, earned All-American honors at the NCAA Division III national championships by finishing third at 194 pounds.
He is the first Connecticut wrestler to earn All-American honors at the Division III level since Waterford’s Brendan Ward of Johnson & Wales (184) in 2010. Coast Guard’s Nate Giorgio (133) also earned All-American status by finishing eighth.
Chorzepa (21-5) rallied from a four-point deficit with under a minute left in the third period to beat No. 8 seed Josh Thomson of Messiah College (PA) in the consolation final, 11-10.
Thomson had his second takedown of the third period to take a 10-6 lead with 50 seconds left but Chorzepa escaped and got a takedown with 21 seconds left to pull within a point, 10-9. Thomson was penalized one point for stalling with 10 seconds left to tie the match and Chorzepa earned an additional point for riding time to win the match.
Chorzepa advanced to Saturday’s semifinals with a pair of victories Friday. He beat No. 4 David Welch of Roger Williams (RI), 10-3, avenging a 4-1 loss in the semifinal of the NCAA Div. 3 Northeast Regional at Wesleyan earlier in the month. Chorzepa also beat No. 5 Jeff Hulm of Olivet College (MI), 9-4.
“Chris wrestled out of his shoes,” Williams coach Scott Honecker said. “He’s out there wrestling to his full potential and the whole country knows who is now.”
In the semifinals, top-seeded Riley Lefever of Wasbash College (IN) beat Chorzepa, 9-2. A takedown and near fall in the first period helped him build an early 5-1 lead. But Chorzepa quickly rallied with an 11-0 decision over Ryan Sheldon of Coe College (Iowa) in the consolation semifinals.
Giorgio, a junior, earned All-American honors for the third straight year. After losing his opener, he won two in a row with earn All-American honors. He beat Phillip Opelt from Cornell College, 16-0 and outlasted Dustin Weinmann of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, 10-8. Giorgio built a 10-2 lead after one period with a takedown and three near falls.
Giorgio lost to Silas Murray of Rhode Island College, 8-2 in the seventh place bout. Trinity’s Kyle McGuire (285) went 1-2 while teammate Petros Hologitas (197) was 0-2.
Coutu wrestles at NCAA Division II tournament
At the NCAA Division II tournament in Cleveland, senior Brock Coutu of Nebraska-Kearney (141) went 1-2 in the tournament, winning his first consolation round match. He qualified for the tournament by taking fourth at the NCAA Central Regional earlier this month. A year ago, Coutu earned All-American honors by taking third at 141.