By Northwestern Athletics
PITTSBURGH — Redshirt sophomore Sebastian Rivera (125) finished in third place and redshirt sophomore Ryan Deakin (157) finished in sixth place in the final day of the 2019 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships on Saturday at the PPG Paints Arena.
The finishes were both career-best for the Northwestern matmen.
Rivera met up with Cornell’s Vitali Arujau for the second time in the Tournament in the third-place bout; the pair met in the quarterfinals with Rivera taking a 6-2 decision.
The Wildcat wrestler struck first, scoring a takedown only 12 seconds into the bout. Arujau escaped shortly thereafter and took Rivera down with one minute and 15 seconds remaining in the first period.
Holding a 3-2 lead heading into the second period, Arujau chose to defer, and Rivera started on bottom. Rivera scored a reversal after only 23 seconds and, as time expired in the second period, the Wildcat grappler earned a four-point near-fall to go up 8-3 on his Big Red foe.
After no scoring in the third period, Rivera earned a 8-3 victory over Arujau.
Earlier in the session, Rivera defeated Princeton’s Pat Glory in dramatic fashion in the consolation semifinals. The match-up had some history; Rivera topped Glory with a late-time pin after falling down early, 4-0, to Glory in the 2016 New Jersey State Championships at 113 pounds.
In a similar way, Rivera went down early. Glory netted a takedown only 25 seconds into the bout, and, after a Rivera escape, the Tiger wrestler struck again. Rivera escaped with a minute and eight seconds left in the first period with the score reading 4-2.
The Wildcat grappler did record a takedown with under a minute remaining in the first period and rode Glory for the rest of the opener; the score sat at four points apiece.
In the second period, Glory scored fast again. After a very quick escape, he took down Rivera only 27 seconds into the period.
It continued to be a back-and-forth affair as Rivera escaped and took down Glory before a late-time reversal from Glory that made the score 9-7 in favor of the Princeton wrestler.
The third period, however, was all Rivera. He escaped quickly, took down Glory, and scored four near-fall points to win, 14-9, and earn a spot in the third-place match.
Deakin wrestled twice on Saturday, suffering two setbacks. He fell, 8-2, to North Carolina State’s Hayden Hidlay and, in the fifth-place bout, lost, 7-5, in sudden victory to Iowa’s Kaleb Young.
The Colorado native picked up his first-career All-America honor in the Championships.
125: (1) Sebastian Rivera (NU) dec. (8) Vitali Arujau (COR), 8-3
157: (6) Kaleb Young (IOWA) dec. (3) Ryan Deakin (NU), 7-5 (SV-1)
125: (1) Sebastian Rivera (NU) dec. (7) Pat Glory (PRIN), 14-9
157: (5) Hayden Hidlay (NCST) dec. (3) Ryan Deakin (NU), 8-2