CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (Blugolds.com) – Two UW-Eau Claire wrestlers competed on day one of the 2014 NCAA Division III Championship at the U.S. Cellular Center today, but neither advanced to Saturday's round.
Nathaniel Behnke (So.-Ladysmith, Wis.) competed four times on day one and finished with a 2-2 record. He won his opening match in the preliminary round, 6-0 over the University of Dubuque's Brian Travis but then fell 5-2 in round one of the championship bracket to New York University's Brandon Jones, the No. 2 seed. Watch Behnke's First Match | Watch Behnke's Second Match
In the first round in the consolation bracket, Behnke won 6-5 over No. 7 seed Connor Campo from Wartburg College (Iowa) but then fell 6-5 to No. 8 seed Matt Holmes from Loras College (Iowa). His final match was a heartbreaking loss as Behnke led 3-0 headed into the third period. Just under 40 seconds into the final period, it was tied 4-4 while Holmes captured a 6-5 lead with 17 seconds remaining and hung on for the win. Behnke finishes the season with a 38-11 record. Last year Behnke finished in fifth place at the NCAA Championship.
Ryan Seidler (Sr.-Adams, Wis./Adams-Friendship) was unable to come away with a victory today, dropping two matches to end his time at the championship. He started the day against No. 3 seed Mark Hartenstine from Wilkes University (Pa.) and came up short 7-1. Seidler then took on Wartburg's Mark Pinero but lost 10-2. He finishes the year with a 29-10 record and has a 55-28 career mark.