Although the Boston University wrestling team placed seventh at the Colonial Athletic Association Championships on March 7, it will send three athletes to the NCAA Championships for the first time in four years.
As a team, the Terriers recorded 26.5 points as Hofstra University won the title for the eighth straight year with 106.5 points. Senior Mike Roberts (149 pounds), junior C.J. Inglin (165) and freshman Hunter Meys (174) finished fourth or better in their respective brackets. Because of the CAA’s four allocated spots at 174, Meys automatically qualified for the NCAAs. Roberts and sophomore John Hall (197) earned two of the 52 at-large berths announced last Wednesday.
‘I thought we had some guys that wrestled well,’ BU coach Carl Adams said. ‘We probably should have placed one or two slots higher. It’s a very tough conference. We had five kids in the semis at the conference tournament, and that was good.
‘I thought we could have wrestled better in the consolation round. But I’m very pleased with the three kids that we qualified for the national tournament. We haven’t done that in four years. To get three kids from our conference is a pretty difficult task.’
In the 149-pound final, Roberts lost narrowly in the second tiebreaker, 3-2, to Hofstra redshirt freshman Paul Gillespie. Roberts returned in the second match to earn a 6-1 sudden-victory over Old Dominion redshirt sophomore Joey Metzler.
‘This is [Roberts’] third shot [in the NCAAs],’ Adams said. ‘On a given day, he could play with the best of them. He just needs to be totally focused and be at his best for every single match, and I feel like he’ll have a good tournament.’
Meys dropped a 2-0 decision against Old Dominion junior Eric Decker for third place in the 174, and Rider senior Jason Lapham defeated Inglin, 8-4, in the third-place 165 match. Hall also fell, 9-7, to Hofstra sophomore Joe Fagiano in the 197 consolation semifinals.
‘John has had a good season,’ Adams said. ‘He got a little dinged up right before the conference, but his season was good enough to get him an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA Tournament is absolutely brutal, so it’s hard to predict exactly what’s going to happen. But I know he’ll wrestle well.
[Meys] is a true freshman. And I feel like he’s going to wrestle well no matter what. It all depends on the draw and how well you wrestle.’
Roberts is the 15th three-time NCAA qualifier in school history, and this year marks the first tournament appearance for Hall and Meys. The NCAAs will be in St. Louis, Mo., from March 19 to 21, and Adams will be sure to have his athletes ready.
‘For the past few days, we’ve been going twice a day,’ Adams said. ‘And now’s the time to just back off, get your rest, make sure you prepare mentally and technically. You want to be your best. This is the point that the mental, the physical and the technical have to come together. And that’s where we are.
‘I feel really good about our conditioning. I feel really good about our training up until this point . . . When it’s all said and done, we don’t know where we’ll end up but I feel like we’ll wrestle well.’