Bernstein Punches Ticket to NCAAs with Third Place Finish at EIWAs
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Junior co-captain Ophir Bernstein (Allen, Texas) secured his third consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships with a third-place finish in the 184-pound weight class at the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championships on Sunday. Classmate and fellow captain Ricky McDonald (Carson City, Nev.) narrowly missed the cut to NCAAs and placed seventh in the 174-pound weight class.
Bernstein, Brown's winningest wrestler this season, fell to Penn's Lorenzo Thomas, 6-2, in the semifinal round but bounced back to punch his ticket to the NCAAs by pinning Princeton's Brett Harner in 2:49. For good measure, Bernstein blanked Columbia's Zach Hernandez, 6-0, for the second time in two days to take home third-place honors and tie his personal best finish at EIWAs. The Honorable Mention All-Ivy selection now stands at 32-8 on the season to surpass the 30-win mark for the first time in his career.
McDonald opened the day against Elliot Riddick of Lehigh and fell 7-3 in the consolation round before surrendering by the same score to Cornell's George Pickett in the seventh place match. McDonald closes out 2014 with a 20-15 record to finish second on the team in wins behind Bernstein.
Bernstein will take the national stage on Thursday, Mar. 20, in Oklahoma City, Okla.
174: Ricky McDonald
Cons. Round 5 – Elliot Riddick (Lehigh) dec. Ricky McDonald (Brown), 7-3
7th Place Match – George Pickett (Cornell) dec. Ricky McDonald (Brown), 7-3
184: Ophir Bernstein
Semifinal – Lorenzo Thomas (Penn) dec. Ophir Bernstein (Brown), 6-2
Cons. Semifinals – Ophir Bernstein (Brown) fall Brett Harner (Princeton), 2:49
3rd Place Match – Ophir Bernstein (Brown) dec. Zach Hernandez (Columbia), 6-0