ROANOKE, Va. – Zack Murillo of the Wesleyan wrestling team won his first bout at the 2019 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships Friday at the Berglund Center in Roanoke, Va., hosted by Ferrum College. However, the senior lost his next two matches and has been eliminated from the national tournament.
Murillo, who is unseeded in the 125-pound bracket, had a first-round bye in the morning bout and wrestled seventh-seeded Brady Kyner of Wartburg – the three-time defending national champions. Kyner entered the tournament with a 24-6 record and was the No. 1 seed in the Lower Midwest Region, in which he finished third in the regional qualifier. Murillo was taken down roughly 30 seconds into the match but recovered with a quick reversal. Trailing by one in the third period, 5-4, Murillo reversed Kyner to his back for six points and eventually prevailed, 10-7.
With the impressive win, Murillo advanced to the third-round in the night session and was paired against the No. 2 seed, Mike Tortorice of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Tortorice finished third overall during the 2018 NCAA Championships, and prevailed over Murillo by an 8-0 major decision.
Murillo fell to the Wrestlebacks bracket following the loss and faced Carlos Champagne of Wabash. Champagne lost to top-seeded Jay Albis of Providence, 9-1, in his first fight of the day but recovered with an 8-0 major decision victory over Murillo to end his season.
The senior from Southington, Conn. excelled in his final year donning the Wesleyan uniform. Following a 1-2 day, Murillo concludes his 2018-19 campaign with a 28-10 record and a second-place finish at the New England regionals.