While three teams from Boston University had their respective seasons come to an end this weekend, one team shined in its postseason appearance this year, as the wrestling team made some noise in its appearance at the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
On the first day at the Wells Fargo Center, the Terrier wrestlers claimed a total of three victories.
Competing in the 133-pound division, freshman Dane Harlowe came up with his first victory in the tournament by defeating Atlantic Coast Conference champion George DiCamillo of the University of Virginia. The win was an upset for Harlowe, as DiCamillo, the No. 11 seed in the tournament, was a two-time Ohio state champion. Harlowe came out aggressive, as he took a 5-0 lead over DiCamillo in the first period, which included one takedown.
The rest of the match was difficult, as DiCamillo sought to make a comeback. Despite DiCamillo taking down Harlowe twice, Harlowe escaped both times and came out with a 9-7 victory.
Harlowe’s victory moved him on to the second round, where he took on senior Nathan McCormick of the University of Missouri. McCormick, who came in second place in the Big 12 competition, was competing in his third consecutive NCAA tournament. McCormick lived up to his billing and promptly handed Harlowe an 11-1 major decision.
“It was remarkable for Dane,” said BU coach Carl Adams. “He’s extremely competitive and can beat nationally-ranked caliber wrestlers.”
Harlowe was not the only Terrier to record his first NCAA win on the first day. Junior Nestor Taffur also recorded a victory, defeating University of Wyoming sophomore Andy McCulley in his second match of the day by a score of 12-6. Taffur’s victory came after a defeat at the hands of Northwestern University senior Jason Welch. The Big 10 champion defeated Taffur, 11-5, the second time Welch beat Taffur this season.
The third Terrier to compete on the first day of the tournament was junior Kevin Innis. Innis was the only one of the trio to previously have a win in the NCAA Championship, as he went 1-2 last year. After getting pinned by Oregon State University senior Chad Hanke in 42 seconds, Innis recovered to defeat Rutgers University redshirt freshman William Smith, 2-1, in an intense match.
“[Innis] came back and beat a very good wrestler from Rutgers,” Adams said.
Adams also noted the competition for his trio was rough.
With one win apiece, all three Terriers moved on to the second day. Harlowe opened up against No. 12 Pennsylvania State University redshirt freshman Jordan Conaway. It was the second time in two days Harlowe competed against a ranked opponent. Although Harlowe started the match with a takedown and battled hard throughout, Conaway came away with the victory, ending Harlowe’s run in the championships. The freshman finished the year with a 10-7 record.
Innis faced off against redshirt junior Jeremy Johnson of Ohio University. Innis started with a takedown of Johnson, but Johnson quickly answered and took a 3-2 lead. As the two battled in the second period, Johnson finally came away with a victory, pinning Innis.
Although Innis ended his 2012-13 campaign on a down note, it was one filled with success nonetheless. The junior capped off his third year at BU with a 22-8 overall record and was also the Colonial Athletic Associate heavyweight champion.
Taffur highlighted the day for the Terriers, as he came away with the only victory on the second day. In his first match, Taffur faced off against Air Force Academy junior Josh Kreimer. Taffur came out strong, getting two takedowns, and took a 5-2 lead going into the third period. Kreimer fought valiantly in the final stretch, but Taffur bested him.
Taffur next battled it out against Virginia Tech University redshirt senior Jesse Dong. Taffur took a 2-0 lead after one period. Dong, the No. 7 seed, was not phased, as he battled back and took a 9-4 victory, ending Taffur’s season. Taffur compiled a successful 36-9 record, along with the recognition of being CAA champion.
“All of them had really tough draws,” Adams said of his wrestlers’ matchups. “They wrestled very well. They represented BU very well.”