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Wrestlers Set for NCAA Division III Championships

Wrestlers Set for NCAA Division III Championships Springfield, Mass. - March 12, 2012 - The Springfield College wrestling team will have six members compete in the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships this upcoming weekend in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Joe Grippi, Derrick Longo, Jeremy Burns, Tommy Casper, Derek Adams, and Devin Biscaha will all compete on the national scene.

Springfield's six wrestlers in the NCAA Championships is tied for the third-highest total of representatives in the nation. Wartburg will have 10 competitors, while Wisconsin-Whitewater qualified eight grapplers. St. John's (Minn.), Concordia College-Moorhead, Luther, and Cortland join Springfield with six wrestlers.

For Grippi, this marks his fourth-straight appearance at the NCAA Championships, while both Longo is headed to the national tournament for the second-consecutive season. The remaining four wrestlers will compete in the NCAA's for the first time.

At the 141 pound weight class, Grippi is enters the competition as the nation's top seed with an 11-0 record. A native of Bedford Hills, N.Y., Grippi returned to action at the New England Regional Championships after six weeks off due to an injury. He will take on Elizabethtown's Jesse Meaney (14-5) in the first round. The winner will then wrestle the winner of eighth-seeded Brian Travis (Dubuque) and Cory Vernon (Centenary).

Seeded seventh at 165 pounds, Longo currently owns a 29-5 record in 2012. The Ardsley, N.Y. product will square off against Owen Vernon (18-4) of Centenary in his opening match. If he is able to win, he will battle the winner of the bout between second-ranked Nazar Kulchytskyy (Wisconsin-Oshkosh) and Garret Bonte (Luther).

Casper has a record of 22-9 this year wrestling at the 125 pound weight class. The junior from Berbenfield, N.J. will wrestle the eighth-seed, Matthia Ellis II (16-2) of Brockport in the opening round.

At 133, Adams will also square off against the eighth seed in his weight class. Entering the match with a 17-6 record, the Charlestown, R.I. product will battle McDaniels' Ryan O'Boyle (25-6).

After a breakout performance at the regionals, Biscaha will enter the competition at 157 with a record of 11-6 this season. Hailing from Jackson, N.J., the junior is set to square off with sixth-seeded Reece Lefever (28-2) from Wabash.

Burns enters the competition at the 197 pound weight class with a record of 13-5 this season. The senior from Hoosick Falls, N.Y. will be pitted against fourth-seeded Mike Benefiel (17-2) from Elmhurst in the first round.

The top eight finishers in each weight class earn All-America status. Last season, both Longo and Grippi earned All-America honors for the Pride, taking third and seventh, respectively.

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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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