Seven national top-10 team finishes
CEDAR RAPIDS—Central College 125-pound wrestler Daniel Page (junior, Tumwater, Wash.), ranked No. 10 and seeded No. 7, won a wrestleback pigtail match, but was ousted at the 2014 NCAA Division III wrestling championships Friday.
In the opening pigtail match, Sean Kempf (14-6) of SUNY-Cortland topped Page (32-7) by 8-5 decision. Kempf, the Northeast Regional champion, used a five-point sequence in the second period to gain the advantage and held on for the narrow decision. Kempf advanced to face Ithaca’s Jimmy Kaishian (23-11), the Northeast Regional runner-up, in the round of 16 and lost by 3-1 decision. Page dropped into a pigtail match in the consolation bracket.
In the wrestleback, Page faced Kevin Corrigan (16-9) of The College of New Jersey, who suffered a sudden victory loss at the hands of No. 5-seeded Jesse Gunter (28-4) of Baldwin-Wallace (Ohio). After building a 3-0 lead with less than one minute remaining in the third, Page withstood a Corrigan rally and held on for a 5-2 decision.
“It was a battle today,” coach Eric Van Kley said. “We knew his first match was going to be tough. He had the lead, but got caught in a scramble and it cost him. I was very proud of the way he bounced back in the next round.”
Advancing to the consolation round of 16, Page squared off against Michael Mui (25-7) of Merchant Marine (N.Y.). Mui pieced together an early lead with two first-period takedowns, but Page battled back to even the match in the second with a takedown of his own. But Mui scored seven points in the closing period to oust Page by 13-6 decision.
“It was another tough match for Daniel,” said Van Kley. “He got down early and lost another late scramble that decided the match once again.
The day wraps the third consecutive 20-plus-win season for Page, who has 80 career wins entering his senior year. And next year starts tomorrow.
“I’m proud of the way Daniel battled all year,” Van Kley said. “He’s a tremendous young man and he had a great season. He’s motivated to be the best and he was already talking about how he can improve. We’ll build off of this experience.”