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Lake Erie

Vargo Takes Fifth While Rosborough Finishes Eighth at the Division II Championships

Photos by Baker Media Productions
Photos by Baker Media Productions

CLEVELAND, Ohio—Senior 157-pounder Zak Vargo (Stow, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy) placed fifth and freshman 197-pounder Evan Rosborough (Concord Twp., Ohio/Riverside) placed eighth on the final day of the NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships Saturday (March 15). 

Both wrestlers earned All-American honors.  For the fourth-year program, this marked the first time they earned two All-American honors in the same seasons.  Vargo ends his Lake Erie career as the winningest wrestler in the program's history and the only two-time All-American.

In the semifinals, Vargo had a rematch from last year's Championships with 2013 Champion and top-ranked Cory Dauphin.  After a long scramble in the first, Dauphin scored a takedown.  Vargo was able to escape, making it 2-1 heading into the second round.  Dauphin managed to escape early on in the second to score the only points of the round.  Vargo cut the lead to 3-2 with an escape in the third round but was unable to take Duaphin down, falling by a 3-2 decision.

 In the consolation semifinals, Vargo faced University of North Carolina Pembroke's Justin Pencook, ranked eighth in the country.  Pencook shot in right off the whistle, picking up two points after a long scramble.  After Vargo escaped shortly after, he secured a takedown to move ahead, 3-2.  Vargo kept Pencook on the mat for over a minute before Pencook tied it with an escape.  Vargo regained the lead with an escape in the second round but once again, Pencook took him down, moving ahead 5-4 heading into the third.  Vargo kept Pencook down for the entirety of the third round to gain a point of riding time, sending the bout into overtime.  In the extra session, Pencook shot right in and secured the takedown, sending Vargo to the fifth-place match.

Vargo had a rematch from the second round with Ray Hall of Colorado State University Pueblo in the fifth-place match. Vargo netted the first points of the bout by turning a shoot attempt from Hall around.  Hall cut the lead in half with an escape shortly after.  Vargo started round two on the bottom, increasing his lead with an escape heading into the final round.  Hall tied the bout with a takedown but Vargo quickly reversed it to move ahead 5-3.  An escape from Hall brought the match within one but Vargo took Hal down late in the round to finish the Championships in fifth-place.

In his first consolation match, Rosborough faced seventh-ranked Joe Brandt of Ashland University.  This marked the third meeting this season between the two after they split in the dual season. Brandt scored the first points of the match with a takedown a minute into the first round and kept Rosborough down the rest of the time.  Brandt increased his lead to 3-0 with an escape to start round two- the only point of the round. Rosborough scored a takedown late in the third round but it was not enough as he fell by decision, 5-2.

 In the eighth-place match, Rosborough had a rematch from earlier in the season with University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown's Zachary Bennett who is ranked fourth in the country.  Bennett scored the first points with a takedown in the opening minute.  He increased his lead to three with an escape in the second round.  Rosborugh picked up a quick two points in the third round but Bennett quickly reversed it en route to a 6-2 decision.  Rosborough concluded his first Championships in eighth-place.

Overall, the Storm finished 25th with 14.5 points.