Session III was an opportunity to make up some ground and make some noise in the Big Ten Tournament.
The Scarlet Knights had four wrestlers compete in in the early afternoon to try and earn spots on the podium.
Nick Gravina finished up his tournament by taking a medical forfeit out of his bracket as a precaution as he prepares for NCAA’s. Gravina battled through a tough bracket and earned some close victories to finish sixth in the Big Ten. Gravina, along with Anthony Ashnault, are two of six wrestlers in program history to be 4x NCAA Qualifiers.
Anthony Ashnault & Nick Gravina are just the fifth & sixth 4x NCAA qualifiers in program history, joining Billy Smith (2013-16), Scott Winston (2009, 2011-13), Dan Rinaldi (2010-13) & Andy Roy (2002-05).#RelentlessPursuit | #GoRU pic.twitter.com/CyTUR051Fm— Rutgers Wrestling (@RUWrestling) March 10, 2019
John Van Brill wrestled in the 7th place match, already having qualified for NCAA’s, but fell 5-3 in a rematch with Ohio State’s Ke-Shawn Hayes, whom he pinned in the first round yesterday. Van Brill gets his third Big Ten Medal with an 8th place finish.
Shane Metzler took on Ohio State’s Malik Heinselman in the ninth place bracket at 125 pounds. Metzler would drop that one 9-4 to end his tournament and season.
At 141 pounds, Peter Lipari survived with a 7-5 decision over Michigan State’s Austin Eicher and then took out Purdue’s Nate Limmex for the second time this season by a score of 8-6 to punch his ticket to NCAA’s. For a guy who was not the original starter at 141 pounds to start the season, it’s been a nice last two months for Lipari.
Joe Grello, while unable to earn an automatic bid, wrestled in the ninth place bracket on Sunday afternoon to boost his resume for an at-large bid to NCAA’s. He took out Jacob Covaciu of Indiana in his first bout and then laid down the hammer on Iowa’s Mitch Bowman with a pin in 2:18. Now comes the waiting game on the NCAA’s ruling for the wild card 174 pounders. A bid for Grello would be his first and would give Rutgers six qualifiers.