Owls Wrap Up Season in Gainesville
The 2005-2005 wrestling season concluded this past week for Florida Atlantic University's wrestling team, with the finale of the South East Conference Tournament. Held in Gainesville, FL, and hosted by the University of Florida Gators, the SEC Tournament marked the second season for FAU's emerging squad.
The season thus far has seen FAU travel to the Central Jersey Open to face the likes of Army, Navy, Rutgers, Princeton U. Penn, Lehigh, The College of New Jersey, and many others, and highlighted at the midpoint by competing in the Sunshine Open, including opponents from Minnesota (Augsburg College), as well as local southeastern teams like UCF. The Owls entered team captains Jason Lindsey and J.C. Lingebach in the SEC tournament with hopes of qualifying each for the National Championships held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The outlook was hopeful, as they touted returning National Qualifier Matt Kent (HWT), Keishaun Mark (184), Zach Marion (141), and Jeff Dusek (165).
However, due to budgetary constraints, scheduling conflicts, and injuries, the Owls were constrained in only sending Lindsey and Lingebach to the SEC. The spring semester saw the FAU Team face obstacles again in facilities and equipment availability, but the team was resilient once again in training as best they could, albeit on a condensed schedule, and limited options.
Both Captains represented FAU well, opening the tournament with a pair of wins despite limited preparations. Lingebach began by pinning his opponent from University of Georgia. Lindsey followed suit with a win over his opponent too, a Gator from University of Florida. Eventually each saw defeats in the later round of their respective weights, 157 lbs and 149 lbs. Lingebach drew top seeded and returning all American Jon Peters from Pensacola Christian College, and lost by technical fall in the second period.
In the consolation rounds, Lindsey fell first to an opponent from Florida Gulf Coast University, and later to Florida State University. Lingebach remained advancing through subsequent rounds, and found himself aiming for a bid to the national championship tournament with a final match for 7th/8th place.
Lingebach faced off against Dustin Garvin of Florida State University, and saw the battle through to the end. A 2-point match until the third period, Lingebach fought valiantly, but ultimately to no avail. J.C gave up a close 9-4 decision in the last minute of the match, but never gave up in his quest for a national championship tournament bid.
While The Owls did not qualify for the Nationals this year, it was still a valuable learning season as the 2nd year developing team saw competition from quality teams like University of Central Florida, University of South Florida, Pensacola Christian College, Florida, Florida State, Florida A&M, Auburn, Alabama, Georgia and Georgia Tech in the SEC Tournament. A positive and beneficial learning experience, FAU looks forward to fielding a full team of healthy competitors for next season, and is actively recruiting new members to begin the off-season of training in preparation.
The season is culminated by reflecting on a trying and difficult season marked by two major hurricanes, administrative challenges, a strong freshman class of recruits, and intense training for top competitions around the country against NCAA Division I, II, and III opponents. The wrestlers epitomized resilience in the face of adversity, and the ability to overcome obstacles with a determined resolve.
Florida Atlantic University is also actively seeking to fill an expected coaching vacancy, as Head Coach Rick Addante expects to be relocating to another region of the country. Any interested candidates should contact either Addante, Sports Information Director Jason Lindsey, or Captain J.C. Lingebach via the contact information on the teamís NCWA website.