O'Green heads to nationals

(Tom Mills / Tony Patrizi / Heidelberg Athletics)
(Tom Mills / Tony Patrizi / Heidelberg Athletics)

YORK, Penn. -- Championship Sunday giveth and Championship Sunday taketh away.

The Heidelberg University wrestling team had an emotionally exhausting final day at the NCAA Mideast regional wrestling tournament. Heidelberg had the potential of sending four wrestlers to the national tournament, but only freshman Dallas O'Green was able to punch his ticket to La Crosse, Wisc.

Nino Majoy, Dillen Decker and Hayden Bates all finished just short of qualifying for nationals. As a team, Heidelberg finished ninth.

All four HU wrestlers lost in the winner's bracket semifinals on Sunday, and O'Green was the only one able to advance to the third place match.

O'Green fell into the consolation bracket with an 8-1 loss to eventually 149-pound champion Seth Lansberry (Lycoming). O'Green staved off elimination -- and avenged a regular-season loss -- with a 6-4 win over Jarrad Lasko (John Carroll).

With a ticket to nationals on the line, O'Green fell behind early but used a strong second period to take an 8-5 lead through two. In the third, O'Green -- a two-sport athlete, having earned a varsity letter with the HU football team -- withstood the shots from Kyle Medrow (Wilkes) and won, 8-7.

"Dallas is a fighter ... never quits," said head coach Tony Patrizi. "I'm very excited for his opportunity at nationals. There are big things to come from Dallas the next few years."

The excitement for O'Green's success was tempered, somewhat, by heartache for senior Nino Majoy. Looking to head to nationals for a third time, Majoy was ahead in his semifinal match against Sam Weinger (RIT). Sadly, Majoy appeared to injure his leg and was pinned.

Visibly hobbled, Majoy wrestled Dan Kiser (Messiah) in the consolation semis despite the injury. Without his usual strength and aggression, Majoy lost 4-0. The way his career ended -- with courage and class -- was a microcosm of his four years in the Tricolor.

"I am extremely proud of my senior Nino Majoy," said Patrizi. "I am thankful to have had the pleasure of coaching him. They don't come any better than Nino."

Bates lost in the semifinals to Alec Cotton (Mount Union). Bates was up 4-1 with a takedown and backpoints but got turned and pinned in the second period. Seemingly out of gas in the wrestle-back semis, Bates lost to Matthew Grossman (Wilkes), 18-4. He medically forfeited the fifth-place match and took sixth.

"Hayden will come back stronger after today," said Patrizi. "He had some tough losses, but there are very big things headed his way."

Dillen Decker was unable to score a takedown of Ryan Shank (Waynesburg) in the semifinals, falling 5-2. He then suffered the same fate in the consolation semifinals, falling to Derek Beitz (Messiah), 5-2. Decker medically forfeited in the 5th-place match.

"Dillen had a great tournament and came up a little short," said Patrizi. "His effort and his leadership are remarkable."

The NCAA tournament, hosted by Wisconsin - La Crosse, begins in two weeks.


Saturday's recap:

125: Mason Brainard went 3-2 on the afternoon. His day was highlighted by two pins. The first came over Garrett Lockwood (Lycoming) in 4:15. The second came in the consolation bracket in Joshua Rivera (Keystone) in 2:57.

133: After falling in his opening match, Ryan Hornack defeated John Carroll's Mitch Tikkanen, 7-3. Hornack lost his third match to Pankil Chandler (Wilkes University), 15-7.

141: Hayden Bates advanced to Sunday's semifinals after finishing 3-0. Bates won his opening match 6-3 over Gregory Warner (York College). Bates pinned Josh Paisley (Elizabethtown) in 1:28 in his second bout. In the quarterfinal match, Bates made quick work of Thiel's Jason Miller, pinning him in 49 seconds.

149: Dallas O'Green also advanced to Sunday's semifinals. O'Green pinned John Sheedy (University of Scranton) in 1:26. An early takedown and late escape would be all O'Green would as he defeated Baldwin Wallace's Richard Burke 3-0 to move on to Sunday.

157: Noah Messerall went 0-2 on the afternoon.

165: Chris White went 0-2 on the afternoon.

174: Despite leading in the third period, Darren Decker was pinned by Scranton's Zach D'apolito. Decker answered in his consolation bout, pinning Nate Thomas (Case Western Reserve) in 29 seconds. Decker lost his third match by a slim 7-6 margin to Justin Morel (Wilkes).

184: Dillen Decker went a perfect 2-0 to advance to Sunday's semifinals. In his first bout, he defeated Jacob Brook (Wilkes), 7-3. After trailing late in his quarterfinal match, Decker scored four points to defeat Nicholas Greenquist (Rochester Institute of Technology), 10-6.

197: Gage Finegan won two straight matches in the consolation bracket before falling to Gage Gladysz (Thiel), 8-0. After losing his opener, Finegan picked up an 11-2 major decision over Bryce Reed (SUNY Oswego) and pinned Jordan Nochimson (Wilkes) in 6:28.

285: After pinning Logan Thomas (Muskingum) in 2:51, Nino Majoy defeated Kade Andrews (SUNY Oswego) 4-2 to advance to the semifinals.