WATERLOO, Iowa - Two Plymouth State College wrestlers have earned All-America honors at the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament, hosted by Upper Iowa University.
Seniors Brian Borkowski (Sabattus, ME) and Dave Lucia (Billerica, MA) have both been named All-America for finishing in the top eight in their respective weight classes. Borkowski, who was runner-up at 158 pounds, and Lucia, who placed eighth in the 275-pound weight class, become the fifth and sixth Plymouth State wrestlers in school history to earn All-America honors.
The strong finishes for Borkowski and Lucia gave PSC a tie with Cortland State for 17th place (18 points) in the team standings, second best among New England schools behind seventh place Springfield (35 points).
Borkowski finished one point shy of a national championship. He advanced to the 158-pound title match, but was defeated in the finals by fourth-seeded Corey Christensen of Simpson College (Iowa), 4-3. Borkowski, who was seeded second, knocked off third-seeded Eric Vandervest of Wisconsin-Lacrosse in the semi-finals, 5-2. He finishes the season at 34-1, and wraps up his career at 98-21. Borkowski is the two-time New England champion at 158 pounds, and is a two-time NCAA participant.
"I was happy to see Brian get through the first day," said PSC coach Dave Carlson after Borkowski advanced Friday past Dubuque's Jason Gordon, 9-8, and Norwich's David Hamel, 2-1. "He didn't look particularly strong (Friday), but he was much stronger today (Saturday). He wrestled a great match in the semi-finals to get to the championship match."
Lucia, an NCAA participant in 1996, earned All-America honors for capturing eighth place in the heavyweight class. He was defeated in the seventh-place match Saturday night by eight-seeded Scott Bayer of Monmouth College. Lucia had bounced back with two wins after facing and getting pinned by the top seed in the opening round, Perry Miller of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Miller, the eventual champion, dominated the weight class, including Lucia, sending the PSC wrestler into the 275-pound consolation bracket.
After consolation round victories over Tag Noel of Buena Vista (3-1) and third-seeded Jeremy Whalen of Simpson College (Iowa), 5-1, Lucia was pinned in overtime by Rich Eslich of John Carroll, setting up Lucia's seventh-place match.
"Dave wrestled very well," said Carlson. "Perry Miller is so tough, I didn't expect anyone would touch him. But Dave came back and won two close matches. That's a tribute to his mental toughness. His last four matches came down to the third period, and he was right there. He has earned his All-America honor."
Previous wrestling All-Americans for PSC include Matt Staples in 1979, Kevin Sheehan in 1991 and 1992, Jeff Santos in 1993, 1994 and 1996, and Kyle DeForest in 1996.
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