Norwich grad headed to NCAA wrestling tournament; Three former Chenango County grapplers place at EIWA Championships

HAMPSTEAD, NY – Wrestling in the 149 pound weight class, Frankie Garcia, Binghamton Bearcats and former Norwich state champion, placed second at the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) Championship Tournament on Sunday, March 4 at Hofstra University.

With 10 Binghamton Bearcats making the EIWA tournament field, Gracia along with Tristan Rifanburg of Norwich and Joe Nelson of Oxford received pre-seeds on Thursday, March 1. Determined on Friday, Gracia was named a 10-seed, Rifanburg was unseeded and Nelson received a No. 7 seed.

Action started on the mats for the three wrestlers that hail from Chenango County on Saturday.

Garcia took his first match of the day with a 21-14 comeback win over the No. 7 Seed Trevor Elfvin of Drexel.

Trailing 10-2 through the first period, Gracia landed a takedown after a leg shot. Eight near fall points later, Gracia held a 13-12 lead. He went on to score another eight points to help his cause through the first match.

Facing Cornell’s Will Koll, Gracia scored first with an early takedown. Leading 2-1 after the first, Gracia tallied another point with an escaped in the third to take a 3-1 win in the quarterfinals and move into Sunday’s semifinals.

Lehigh’s Cortlandt Schuyler was Gracia’s next foe of the tournament. Getting out to an early lead, Gracia took the match win with a final of 7-4, landing in the finals.

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