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Springfield To Send Six Wrestlers to NCAA Championships

Springfield College Wrestling Worcester, Mass. - March 2-3, 2013 - The Springfield College wrestling team had six student-athletes qualify for the NCAA Division III Championships at this weekend's NCAA Northeast Regional Championships. Tommy Casper, Derek Adams, Joe Grippi, Derrick Longo, Devin Biscaha, and Jeremy Burns will all represent Springfield College on the national scene.

In the new 18-team format this year, the top three finishers from each weight class earn an automatic berth in the upcoming NCAA Division III Championships which will be held March 15-16 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. As a team, the nation's 10th ranked squad had one champion, three runner-ups, two third-place finishers, and two fourth-place finishers.

Grippi, who had not wrestled since January 12th at the NWCA National Duals because of an injury, was dominant in his return as he is headed back to nationals for the fourth-straight year. Ranked #1 in the nation at 141 for the majority of the season, Grippi breezed through the competition on Saturday before picking up a 3-0 decision against Wesleyan's Nick Scotto in the semi's to lock up a trip to nationals. In the championship, the nation's top-two ranked wrestlers battled, with Grippi edging Ces Antista of Williams, 2-1.

Burns will be making his first trip to the NCAA's after a strong showing at the regionals as the third-seed. After two victories on Saturday, including a major decision, Burns grinded out a 2-0 win over Oneonta's Chad Obzud to advanced to the championship. Going up against the nation's top-ranked wrestler at 197, Cortland's Jared Myhrberg, Burns was clipped 3-1, to finish as the regional runner up.

At 165, top-seeded Longo locked up his second-straight trip to the NCAA's with a second-place finish. Currently ranked fifth in the country, Longo picked up a pair of wins on Saturday before a 10-4 decision in the semifinals moved him onto the title bout. The senior bowed out in the championship to Collin Crowell from Roger Williams, 13-3.

Adams, who was seeded seventh at 133, powered through the competition, including upsetting second-ranked Alec Dierna of Cortland in his second bout on Saturday. Adams clinched his bid to nationals with a 6-2 win over Wesleyan's Maika Nagata in Sunday's semifinals before losing in the championship match to top-seed and the country's fourth-ranked wrestler, Alex Gomez of Ithaca, 7-3.

After losing his second match on Saturday, fifth-seeded Biscaha reeled off three-straight wins to advance to the third-place match. The junior went up against the top-seed and nation's sixth-ranked wrestler, Derek Brenon, and picked up a 5-4 decision to pick up a bid to nationals.

Casper put forth a great effort at 125 for his first-ever trip to the NCAA Championships. With two wins on Saturday by pin, Casper, who was seeded fourth, lost to the nation's top-ranked wrestler, Coast Guard's Nathaniel Giorgio in the semifinals. However, Casper wrestled back with a pair of wins on Sunday, including a 4-3 win in the third-place match over third-seeded Michael Sugermeyer of RIC.

Mike Fish nearly made it to nationals before falling in the third-place match. After losing in his third-match of the competition, the senior won three matches in the wrestle back before falling to WPI's Zach Hartzell, 3-2, with a bid to NCAA's on the line.

Classmate Nick Camera also finished fourth in the regionals. Camera took the same path to the third-place match as Fish, and had a similar result, dropping a hard-fought 1-0 decision to Shane Parcel of Roger Williams.

Each wrestler who finished in the top six earned all-region honors as the Pride finished with eight honorees.

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Head Coach Jason Holder

Head Coach Jason Holder Jason Holder will enter his third season as head wrestling coach in 2013. Holder had a standout first season at the helm of the Pride, leading Springfield to the NEWA Duals Championship and taking three wrestlers to the NCAA Championships. Read more.

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