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Grippi and Biscaha Advance To NCAA Championship Semifinals In Opening Day

Joe Grippi Cedar Rapids, Iowa - March 15, 2013 - The Springfield College wrestling team got off to a great start in the 2013 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships as three wrestlers are still alive, including Joe Grippi and Devin Biscaha who are headed to the national semifinals.

Springfield entered the competition with six wrestlers in the NCAA Championships, which was tied for the third-highest total of representatives in the nation. Of the 64 schools represented in the national tournament, the Pride is in 8th place after totaling 24 points.

At the 141 pound weight class, Grippi is wrestling as the nation's top seed. In his first match, he cruised to victory with a workman-like 8-0 decision over Elizabethtown's Jesse Meaney. Grippi then advanced to the national semifinals as he handled Brian Travis of Dubuque, 5-2.

Biscaha opened up the day's action with his first of two upsets. The junior knocked off sixth-seeded Reece Lefever from Wabash by the score of 3-2, handing Lefever just his third loss of the year. In his second bout, just over an hour later, Biscaha toppled Josh Etzel of Washington and Jefferson, by the score of 5-3. In the evening session, Biscaha handled the nation's third-ranked wrestler, Cole Welter of Wartburg, 6-1.

At 133, Derek Adams began his first NCAA Championship experience with a victory over the eighth seed in his weight class, McDaniels' Ryan O'Boyle, as he produced a 6-3 decision. In the evening session, Adams was bested by the nation's top-ranked wrestler, Kenneth Anderson of Wartburg, by major decision, 14-3. The sophomore then advanced past Chris Sokol from Dubuque by grinding out a 4-2 win to advance to Saturday.

Jeremy Burns, wrestling in the 197 pound weight class, was pinned in 1:35 by fourth-seeded Mike Benefiel from Elmhurst in the first round. Burns then squared off against Ryan Michaelis of St. Johns and responded with a strong effort en route to a 7-2 victory. In his first match of the evening session, Burns prevailed in a gritty 6-1 overtime victory over Musa De`Reese of Hunter. Later on he went up against Shane Siefert of Wisconsin Whitewater, and was clipped, 2-1, in triple overtime.

Returning All-American Derrick Longo was seeded seventh at 165 pounds and was upset in the first round by Owen Vernon of Centenary, 5-0. In the wrestle back, Longo rebounded with a 8-4 victory over Justin Bowland of Augsburg, before falling to Luther's Garrett Bonte, 8-2.

In his first match of the day, Tommy Casper dropped a hard-fought battle to the eighth-seed, Matthia Ellis II of Brockport in the 125 pound competition by the score of 5-4. Casper later squared off against second-seeded Nate Giorgio of Coast Guard, and was defeated by technical fall, 17-0.

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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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