UCF Wins Southeast Conference
The University of Central Florida Wrestling team travelled to Tallahassee to compete in the NCWA Southeast Conference Championship Tournament on February 27th, 2010. The Wrestling Knights came home with the first place trophy, and 6 individual champions. This event marked the return of UCF as Conference champions, a title they have not held since 2008.
UCF finished with 213.5 points while runner-up, MMI, had 188.5. Team captain, Steve De Augustino said “Team championships are won by great individual performances, and everyone on the team deserves this win.” With 6 individual champions and 3 second place finishers, The Knights made an impressive showing in the final round of competition—qualifying at least one wrestler in every weight class. Assistant Coach David Miller said, “This was a great tournament. We have a lot of young guys on the team, and they are all peaking at the right time.”
Starting the Knights off at the 125 lbs. weight class, Alex Chiricosta won by fall in the championship match. Returning All-Americans, Steve De Augustino (133) and Richard Rippy (197) also claimed the title as conference champions. New comers to the team Nick Christian (165), Zumar Archer (184), and Mike Dominguez (235) also finished first. TJ Gillin (149), CJ Hauser (174), and Daniel Rowe (285) were runners-up. Finishing third place for UCF are DJ Frazier (141), Justin Crimmins (157), and Greg Gaught (174).
The Knights are currently gearing up for the NCWA National Tournament in Hampton, Virginia on Mar 11-13, 2010. “After our performance at conference, the team showed that we are ready and capable of taking back the national title,” said Head Coach, Jason Balma. UCF has not held the national title since their back-to-back grip on the title in 2004-2005. The Knights also finished the regular season as the NCWA team points leader with a 13-4 dual meet record. “We have the tools to finish a great season as national champions, it is just a matter of the guys rising to the challenge,” said Assistant Coach Johnny Rouse.