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AU's Jeric Kasunic Advances to 2nd Day of NCAA Championships

03/15/2018, 5:30pm EDT
By WCDC Admin

Reprinted from American University's website.

CLEVELAND – Jeric Kasunic advanced to the second day of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships after earning a split of his two matches Thursday in the event, being held at the Quicken Loans Arena.

Kasunic won his opening match in a 5-2 decision over Dustin Conti of Clarion, but fell into the consolation bracket after a 16-5 loss to No. 4-seed Michael Macchiavetto of NC State.

He will wrestle early Friday, attempting to survive and advance through the consolation bracket.

AU's other four qualifiers – Gage Curry, Josh Terao, Michael Sprague and Brett Dempsey – each lost twice on Thursday to end their seasons.

American finished the session with Kasunic's advancement point, which placed the Eagles in a tie for 53rd of the 72 teams competing at nationals.

Friday's opening session begins at 11 a.m.


Curry opened his first NCAA Nationals against 11th-ranked Sean Russell.

Russell held leads of 2-0 and 7-1 after the first two periods against Curry. He picked up three takedowns in a nine-point third period to earn a 16-3 major decision. It was Curry's first major-decision loss of the season.

Curry fell to the first round of the consolation bracket against 19th-ranked Travis Piotrowski of Illinois.

Piotrowski picked up a takedown and four-point near fall midway through the opening period, going on to score a 9-1 major decision over Curry.

Curry finished his season with a 22-16 record and a trip to the NCAA Nationals in his redshirt freshman season.


Terao, seeded 12th, needed just eight seconds to get a takedown and the bout's first points over Rico Montoya of Northern Colorado. Montoya escaped quickly and got his own takedown with 59 seconds left in the period.

Terao tied the score with an escape and took a 5-3 lead with another takedown of his own. Having the choice to start the third period, Montoya made the most of his choice of the neutral position, turning that into a takedown and four-point nearfall for a seven-point period and a 10-5 win.

Terao fell to the consolation bracket, where he wrestled No. 5-seed John Erneste of Missouri, who was upset in the first round, 8-3, by Tariq Wilson of NC State.

Erneste scored a takedown with 1:50 left in the first period and his 2-0 lead held up through two periods. But he got a takedown early in the third period and converted it into a fall in 5:29.

It was Terao's first loss by fall this season and ended his year with a 29-10 record.


Sprague wrestled showed good defense in his first-round bout with 12th-seeded Ryan Blees of Virginia Tech.

After a scoreless first period, Sprague rode out the entire second period. Blees got a late takedown to take a 3-1 lead, but Sprague got an escape and the ride-out in the second period turned into the riding-time point that sent the bout into overtime.

Blees got an escape in the first tie-breaker period and rode out the next 30 seconds to earn the 4-3 victory and advance.

Sprague wrestled in the first round of the consolation bracket against Malik Amine of Michigan, who also lost in the first tie-breaker period, 6-5, to No. 5-seed Ke-Shawn Hayes.

Sprague and Amine locked in a back-and-forth match, with Sprague taking a 4-2 lead after the first and Amine recovering to a 5-5 tie after the second.

Amine chose the bottom position going into the third period and Sprague rode him long enough to earn the riding-time point. But with 26 seconds left, the Wolverine got a reversal and finished off the 7-6 win.

Sprague ended his season and his first trip to nationals with a 23-15 record.


Kasunic posted AU's first win of the tournament with a first-round victory over Dustin Conti of Clarion.

Conti got an escape late in the second period, but Kasunic scored a takedown with 19 seconds left to take a 2-1 lead into the third. Kasunic used an escape and a nice spin move for a takedown with 1:19 left that was the difference in his 5-2 win.

His second-round opponent was fourth-seeded Michael Macchiavello of NC State, who scored a 13-4 major decision over Thomas Lane of Cal Poly.

Macchiavello got leads of 6-1 and 9-2 after the first two periods and ended with a 16-5 major decision over Kasunic, his first loss by major decision this season.

Kasunic, seeded 13th in the tournament, will wrestle in Friday's opening session in a second-round consolation bout against Eric Schultz of Nebraska. Schultz lost 4-3 to No. 14 Cash Wilcke of Iowa but won Thursday night, 3-2, over Jacob Seely of Northern Colorado to stay alive.


Dempsey opened the tournament for AU, wrestling in a pigtail match early in the session. Facing Cornell's Jeramy Sweany, who had beaten Dempsey two weeks ago in the Eastern intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championships, Dempsey posted the bout's first points with a first-period takedown.

Sweany escaped and had two takedowns to finish the first period with a 5-3 lead. He added a second-period escape and finished the 9-4 win with a takedown and riding time in the third.

Dempsey fell to the consolation bracket, where he faced another rematch from the EIWA Tournament. He opened Thursday's evening session against Antonio Pelusi of Franklin & Marshall, who posted a 2-1 win over Dempsey in a marathon fifth-place bout that went to the second tie-breaker.

On Thursday, Pelusi took a 4-2 lead after the first period and Dempsey got an escape in the second to pull within 4-3. Pelusi scored five points in the third period to win, 9-6, and end Dempsey's tournament.

Dempsey, who ended his season 18-13, ends his wrestling career with a 64-61 record but with a ticket to attend medical school next fall in his hometown at Western Michigan.



125 – #11 Sean Russell (Edinboro) major dec. over Gage Curry (AU), 16-3

125 –#19 Travis Piotrowski (Illinois) major dec. over Gage Curry (AU), 9-1

133 – #29 Rico Montoya (Northern Colorado) dec. #12 Josh Terao (AU), 10-5

133 - #5 John Erneste (Missouri), pinned 12 Josh Terao (AU), 5:29

149 – #14 Ryan Blees (Virginia Tech) dec. #27 Michael Sprague (AU), 4-3 (TB-1)

149 - #30 Malik Amine (Michigan) dec. 27 Michael Sprague (AU), 7-6

197 – #11 Jeric Kasunic (AU) dec. #30 Dustin Conti (Clarion), 5-2

197 - #4 Michael Macchiavello (NC State) major dec. over #11 Jeric Kasunic (AU), 16-5

285 – #25 Jeramy Sweany (Cornell) dec. #27 Brett Dempsey (AU), 9-4

285 - #30 Antonio Pelusi (Franklin & Marshall) dec. #27 Brett Dempsey (AU), 9-6

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