By Danaiya Byrams
Special to Campus News
In a total team effort, the Nassau men’s wrestling team has won the 2018 NJCAA Division III National Championship! The multi-day tournament was the conclusion to a long, hard fought, and challenging season. This is the ninth time Nassau men’s wrestling has won the Division III National Championship.
Along with the Championship, three men were named All-Americans, Chris Meloni, Michael Abidin, and Jonathan Solorzano. Nassau had 10 wrestlers named Academic All-Americans including seven starters.
Chris Meloni finished in sixth place after falling to Jasiah Williams from Clackamas CC, going 2-2 at the tournament. Michael Abidin also finished in sixth place after falling to David Kelly from Barton CC, concluding the tournament with a 3-2 record. Jonathan Solorzano finished in seventh place after defeating Jimsher Sidhu from NIACC, improving to 3-2 at the competition.
Although they did not place, Jorge Barriero, Kyle Mock, John Aceri, Lucas Pincus, Antonio LaRocca, and Zachary Knighton-Ward were able to score crucial points that helped Nassau take home the Championship. At the tournament, multiple coaches compleminted the team on how great of a team effort they put forward.
Following the tournament, Coach Paul Schmidt said, “I am extremely proud of what these men were able to accomplish on and off the mat this year. It is extremely difficult to reach this stage and it is even more difficult to compete well at this level. We would not be where we are without the guidance of our tremendous coaching staff, Vougar Orounjov, Tyshawn Scarlett, Sam Thomas, and Mac Maldarelli. We are very proud to represent Nassau, and the College community has enabled us to achieve our goals.”