BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Newberry Wolves finished the 2013 NCAA Division II National Tournament in sixth place at the CrossPlex Complex. It is the third highest team finish in school history and the school’s sixth straight top eight finish.
Newberry had 43.5 team points in the tournament. Nebraska-Kearney won the event with 108 points, barely edging St. Cloud State’s 105 points. Notre Dame (Ohio) had 103.5 points in third, Central Oklahoma was fourth with 73 points and Upper Iowa with fifth with 49 points.
Jeff Vesta finished in fourth place at 125 lbs. losing a tight 5-4 decision to eventual national champion Jesse Hillhouse of Colorado State-Pueblo in the semifinals. He won a 1-0 decision over Ouachita Baptist’s Garrett Evans in the consolation semifinals, but then lost a 10-4 decision to Simon Fraser’s Skylor Davis to finish fourth.
Vesta finishes his first season at Newberry with a 37-9 record for one of the top eight seasons in win totals at Newberry. He finished as the national leader in pins with 15 and was honored with an award following the completion of wrestling.
149-pounder Deral Brown finished in fourth place. He started the day with an 11-8 decision over Keenan Hagerty of Maryville in the consolation semifinals and then took a 7-6 decision in the first tiebreaker period over Colorado Mesa’s James Martinez.
In the third place match, Brown was caught by Truman’s Ryan Maus and pinned at the 4:22 mark to take fourth place. Brown finishes the season at 40-7, becoming just the fourth wrestler to earn 40 wins in a season. His 142 career wins puts him second all-time in school history, just one behind leader Bryant Blanton.
At 165-pounds, Blake Ridenour took sixth place. He was pinned early in the semifinals by Nebraska-Kearney’s Chase Nelson, then pinned in the first period of his consolation semifinal by Cody Quinn of Minnesota State-Mankato. In the fifth place match he dropped a 7-4 decision to Isaiah Jimenez of San Francisco State to finish sixth. He finished his season with a 32-10 record.
At 197-pounds. Joey Grisko lost a close 2-1 decision to Wisconsin-Parkside’s Davion Willis in the consolation quarterfinals and the lost by one point again in the seventh place match, this time a 4-3 decision to Joseph Brandt of Ashland. Grisko completes his season with a 27-14 record.