AKRON, Ohio – Five Brown wrestlers represented the Bears at the 2014 ASICS University National Championships last Friday and Saturday, battling among the nation's top collegiate wrestlers at the University of Akron.
Junior co-captain Ricky McDonald (Carson City, Nev.), freshmen William McDonald (Carson City, Nev.), Justin Staudenmayer (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) and Jack Twomey-Kozak (Hillsborough, N.C.) and rising senior Billy Watterson competed in the prestigious tournament, while Assistant Coach Tyler Grayson returned to the mat to compete as well.
"This is very important for our program to continue to get exposure on the national and international stage," said Head Coach Todd Beckerman. "The winners of this tournament positioned themselves to qualify for the University World Championships on July 8-12 in Pecs, Hungary. These are great opportunities for our athletes and our program to represent Brown University at the highest level of wrestling."
Junior co-captain Ophir Bernstein (Allen, Texas), an All-American in the 184-pound weight class, has already qualified for the University World Championships and will represent Israel. Bernstein claimed a silver medal at the Junior Wrestlng World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, last summer.
Staudenmayer turned in the top performance, going 4-2 at 74 kg with four consecutive victories after an opening round defeat. The rookie strung together back-to-back technical falls (15-2 and 13-2) before owning a 4-2 decision and completing his win streak with a 10-0 tech fall. Watterson (57 kg) and William McDonald (70 kg) each finished the tournament with a 3-2 record as McDonald took all three victories by tech fall.
Grayson, a former Mid-American Conference Champion and NCAA qualifier at Central Michigan, climbed the podium for eighth place in the 74-kg weight class, earning two tech falls and winning three straight bouts before falling for the second time.
"We are very happy with Coach Grayson's results," Beckerman said. "It is very tough at his age to compete, let alone place at this prestigious event. He has been training really hard to prepare and it showed in his result. This was great exposure for Tyler, our program and our coaching staff."