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Three Wesleyan Wrestlers to Compete at NCAA Championships

Photo by Lianne Yun '18
Photo by Lianne Yun '18

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Three captains of the Wesleyan University wrestling team—Isaiah Bellamy '18, Devon Carrillo '17E and Dominic Pirraglia '18—have qualified for the 2018 NCAA Division III Wresting Championships which will take place Friday, March 9 and Saturday, March 10 at the Cleveland Public Auditorium in Cleveland, Ohio. Baldwin Wallace University and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission will serve as the host for the national event.

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THE BASICS:

  • A total of 180 participants will compete in the championships. Student-athletes qualified for the championship by placing top-three in their respective weight classes at one of the six NCAA regional tournaments held on February 23, 24 and 25. 
  • Bellamy and Carrillo won the 285- and 197-pound titles at the Northeast regionals, respectively, while Pirraglia took third in the 174-pound weight class.
  • The opening ceremonies will begin at 10:15 a.m. on Friday, March 9 with Session I beginning at 11 a.m.
  • All four sessions will be streamed live on NCAA.com.

PREVIEW:

  • Isaiah Bellamy – Seeded fourth in the 285-pound bracket and will face Connor Calkins of RIT in his first match.
  • The senior qualified for the NCAA tournament for the first time in his career and enters the postseason with an incredible 32-2 overall record after winning his first 26 matches of the season.
  • He is the No. 4-ranked "Most Dominant Wrestler" in Division III with an average of 4.76 team points.
  • Of his 32 wins, 21 were by pins which is tied for the most in the country—in all divisions. Bellamy's 21 pins are tied with Carrillo and Jake Evans (285) of Waynesburg.
  • Devon Carrillo – Seeded fifth in the 197-pound bracket and will face Dylan Diebitz of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in his first match.
  • The Middletown native is in his third and final year wrestling at the collegiate level and has qualified for the national postseason each year. He finished third at regionals as a junior, second as a senior, and took the title this year as a graduate student.
  • Carrillo boasts a phenomenal overall record of 35-2.
  • He is tied for first in Division III—and the entire country—in pins with 21 but leads the pack by pinning his opponents in a combined time of 33:19. Evans is second with a mark of 45:06 and Bellamy is third with a time of 46:48. The NCAA leader in falls will be announced at the championships this weekend.
  • Carrillo also pinned a Division II opponent to bring his total number of falls to 22, however, the NCAA only counts pins against opponents in the same Division.
  • He is also the No. 8-ranked "Most Dominant Wrestler" in Division III with an average of 4.60 team points.
  • Dominic Pirraglia – Unseeded in the 174-pound bracket and will face the No. 4 seed, Darden Schrug of Wabash, in the first session.
  • The senior qualified for the NCAA tournament for the first time in his career after claiming bronze at the regionals with a 4-1 record.    
  • He enters the national postseason with an impressive overall record of 23-10, including nine pins.

HEAD COACH DREW BLACK:

  • "Nothing has changed in terms of our plan to compete to the best of our ability. Our three NCAA qualifiers are focused on their best positions, opening up, and wrestling to win.  Confident, relaxed, aggressive, is what we want from each Cardinal each and every match this weekend.  It is all about doing what they do great!"