Cedar Rapids, Iowa - March 16, 2013 - Junior Devin Biscaha captured the NCAA Division III Wrestling National Championship at the 157 pound weight class on Saturday evening with a 3-0 victory over fourth-seeded Kristopher Krawchuk from Wilkes. Earlier in the afternoon, teammates Derek Adams and Joe Grippi wrapped up their seasons by earning All-America honors.
This is the first time since 1999 that Springfield has produced three All-Americans. That year, Mike Gaydos (197-6th), Craig Vedrani (157-6th), and John Roden (174-4th) all took home the national honor.
As a team, Springfield finished 8th out of 64 teams represented in the competition with 42 points. This is the highest team finish for the Pride since the 1998 team took seventh.
Biscaha continued his remarkable run at 157 as the unseeded grappler advanced to the national championship after a 1-0 victory against second-seeded Chris Burdge of Centenary on Saturday morning. After a scoreless first period, Biscaha picked up two minutes of riding time in the second period, which proved to be the difference in the match.
The Jackson, N.J. native was the first Springfield wrestler to compete in the national championship bout since John Roden was the national runner up at 174 in 2000. In tonight's national title match, Biscaha controlled the match from the onset with Krawchuk. After a scoreless first period, he picked up two points in the second period, and that's all the cushion he would need. Dominating on top throughout the tournament, Biscaha picked up a minute of riding time in the third en route to the 3-0 victory for the program's first ever NCAA Division III title.
In its illustrious history, the only national champion that the Springfield College wrestling program has produced is Olympic gold medalist Jeff Blatnick '79, who won a pair of NCAA Division II national titles at the heavyweight class in 1978 and 1979.
This is the fifth-straight year that a Springfield College student-athlete has claimed an individual NCAA National Championship. In 2009, Steve Headley won the indoor 55 meter dash and 100 meters, in 2010, Nikki Hay won the indoor triple jump and Headley won the 100 meter dash. Kevin Coyle won the indoor long jump in 2011, and last year, Kellie Pennington captured the 50 freestyle national title.
Adams finished his first trip to the national tournament with an incredible fourth-place finish despite entering the competition unseeded. In his first match on Saturday, Adams was pitted up against fourth-seeded Dalton Bullard from Elmhurst, and after falling behind 4-1 early, Adams regrouped and battled his way to a tough 6-4 victory. In his next contest, Adams faced third-seeded Ithaca's Alex Gomez, whom he went up against in Northeast Regional Championship two weeks ago. Adams exacted revenge with a thrilling 6-4 decision to advance to the third-place match. Going up against the nation's second-ranked wrestler, Nathan Fitzenreider of North Central, Adams fell 8-2 to earn All-America honors in fourth.
Grippi's bid for a national title came up short after the top-seed was upset in the semifinals by fifth-seeded Paul Marcello of John Hopkins, 3-1, in overtime. He was then pinned in 1:03 by second-seeded Ryan Early of Elmhurst, and fell by a major decision to Nathaniel Behnke of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, 12-2, in the fifth-place match. For his efforts this weekend, Grippi earned his second-straight All-America recognition as he took sixth at 141, improving one-place from a season ago.