MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Junior All-American Nate Giorgio is heading back to the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championship after earning an automatic berth with his third place finish at the Division III Northeast Regional at Wesleyan on Sunday.
The NCAA Division III Championships will be begin on March 14th in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Giorgio, wrestling at 133 pounds, will be making his third straight trip to the NCAA Championship. He placed fourth nationally at 125 pounds to earn All-America honors as a freshman before winning one of three matches last season at the NCAA's.
On Saturday, Giorgio, the #3 seed in the weight class, advanced on a medical forfeit before recording a 14-2 major decision to earn a spot in the semifinals.
He lost a tough 7-6 decision to the #2 seed Silas Murray, ranked ninth nationally, from Rhode Island College before registering an 11-1 major decision over Brian Jennings from WPI to earn a spot in the third place match.
The top three in each weight class get an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. Giorgio made sure he would be going back again this year with a convincing 4-0 win over Patrick Lacroix from Roger Williams.
"Nate wrestled outstanding today," said Coast Guard interim head coach Rob McKnabb. "It is difficult to come back in a tournament after a loss in the semifinals to the ninth ranked wrestler in the country. Nate fought hard and showed his character beating his opponents from WPI and Roger Williams to secure his third trip to the NCAA's showing why he is one of the best in the nation."
Senior Luke Taylor, the fifth seed a 174 pounds, had a pair of wins on Saturday to earn a berth in the semifinals. He lost his first match on Sunday 5-0 to top-seeded Lou Puca from Cortland before losing 11-4 to end his NCAA chances. He would end his collegiate career with a 14-8 decision in the fifth place match.
Freshman Michael Palomba at 157 pounds was the third Coast Guard wrestler still in action on Sunday after picking up a pair of wins on Saturday.
Palomba won an 8-5 decision in his first match of the day to earn himself a chance to get into the third place match, but he lost 14-3 dropping him into the fifth place match where he was pinned in 1:55 to finish a solid sixth in his first career NCAA regional.
Coast Guard placed tenth as a team with 41.5 points.