Greg Flournoy and Jake Kettler represented GMU at the NCAA Championships. I felt both gave great effort. They can hold their heads high.
Jake went 0-2. Both guys who beat Jake won subsequent bouts in the tournament. Greg finished 1-2. He lost his first match in overtime, won his first consolation bout in overtime and lost his second consolation bout in the closing seconds of the bout. He was close to putting together a good run on the backside of the tournament.
It has been 6 years since GMU was in the win column at the NCAA tournament. I joked with some of my colleagues about being way too excited to see .5 points on the board for GMU. Nevertheless, I was excited.
I am also excited Greg will be back next year. I believe he learned a lot being in this year’s championship. I believe it will help him as well as his teammates as they prepare for the 2016 NCAA Championships.
I felt good about our preparation going into the conference tournament. I believed guys were excited to compete. It’s a tough thing gauging where guys are at and what they need to perform well when it matters. I think we read the guys pretty well, but certainly hope we can continue to improve the plan in the years to come.
It was great to have all 10 of our guys make it through the morning session and to see all of them wrestle in placing matches. I was disappointed in some of the results and know guys can do better, but I did enjoy watching them compete with excitement and desire to help their team. We ended up winning 15 individual matches.
Greg Flournoy and Jake Kettler both qualified for the NCAA tournament. In their finals matches, I felt both wrestled well. Sadly, both feel short of winning EWL titles. On the positive side, both had to wrestle true second matches to determine the conference spot in the NCAA tournament. Wrestling a true second match about an hour after a finals loss is very difficult. The stakes are high and often you are physically and emotionally drained. I was pleased both wrestled with resolve and won their true second matches to qualify them for the NCAA tournament.
These two will represent us well at the NCAA tournament. Both are not content with qualifying. Their goals are higher. They have prepared to do something special at the NCAA tournament. I am excited to watch them compete.