Durso’s Run at NCAA D1 Championships Comes To A Close

Durso’s Run at NCAA D1 Championships Comes To A Close

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Franklin & Marshall's Rick Durso started out session three with a 7-4 decision in the 141-pound bracket's consolation second round on Friday afternoon, but fell by a 4-0 score in his next match to bring an end to his run at the 2016 NCAA D1 Wrestling Championships in Madison Square Garden. 

In his opening match against Chattanooga's Mike Pongracz, Durso secured an opening-minute takedown that was upheld after a coach's challenge. Pongracz followed with an escape to go into the second down by one. 

Durso began the next frame on bottom and quickly built on his lead with a reversal and a pair of back points to go ahead 6-1. Pongracz closed the gap with an escape and a takedown of his own to pull within two heading into the final period. 

On top to begin the third, Durso clinched the win by riding out his opponent to register another point and close out the victory. 

In the consolation third round, Durso faced No. 16 Randy Cruz of Lehigh for the second time this season, previously downing the Mountain Hawk in Mayser by a 2-1 score on Jan. 16. 

Cruz got the upper hand early on with a takedown in the first. F&M challenged the call, but Durso remained in the hole after the referees announced the confirmation. The Diplomat's 141-pound grappler was ridden out for the remainder of the frame, chose bottom to start the second, and was once again rode out for the duration of the period as Cruz locked in the riding time point. 

After an escape had gone to Cruz in the third, Durso was unable to land his shots and cut into the deficit. 

Today's result brought an end to Durso's prolific collegiate career that has been unmatched in the program's long and storied history. He exits Lancaster as the only four-time NCAA Qualifier and two-time EIWA Champion, as well as the program's all-time leader in wins (145) and holder of the top-three spots on the season victories list. He closed the season with a 39-10 record, which tied for the most in his career.

In 2014, Durso became the program's first All-American since 1981 and had twice reached the quarterfinals at the NCAA D1 Wrestling Championships. He finished this year's tournament with a 2-2 record. 

2016 NCAA Division I Championships Results 

141 - Rick Durso 

Champ. Round 1 - Rick Durso 17-1 (4:27) tech fall over Anthony Abidin (Nebraska)   

Champ. Round 2 - Joseph Ward (North Carolina) 4-3 decision over Rick Durso 

Cons. Round 2 - Rick Durso 7-4 decision over Mike Pongracz (Chattanooga) 

Cons. Round 3 - Randy Cruz (Lehigh) 4-0 decision over Rick Durso 

285 - Antonio Pelusi 

Champ. Round 1 - Kyle Snyder (Ohio St.) Fall (3:34) over Antonio Pelusi 

Cons. Round 1 - Garrett Ryan (Columbia) 2-0 decision over Antonio Pelusi