Year In Review: A Strong Encore
This is the sixth in our eight-part Summer Year-In-Review Series. Each Monday, we will recap one of the top stories from the 2013-14 year. In Part Six, we continue in February and move into March, recapping another a strong encore from sophomore wrestler Ryan O'Boyle.
As a freshman, Ryan O'Boyle was named the Centennial Conference's Rookie of the Year in wrestling. He finished second at his weight class. He finished second at the first-ever East Regional. He advanced to the national championship and won a match.
So, what would the sophomore do for an encore? Only improve in each of those areas.
Being named Rookie of the Year is something an individual can only do once. The only option for a sophomore is to be named Wrestler of the Year. O'Boyle was.
O'Boyle went 22-1 with 12 pins during the regular season to earn the top seed in the Centennial Conference championship at 133.
The only thing better than a silver medal is a gold one. O'Boyle grabbed two of those in the postseason.
O'Boyle went 3-0 with three pins to win the 133-pound weight class at the 2014 Centennial Conference championship hosted by Ursinus on Saturday, Feb. 22.
The top seed downed Merchant Marine's Isaac Hammond in the first round midway through the final period before topping Sean Billings (NYU) late in the first period to advance to the title tilt. In the championship bout, O'Boyle made it 3-for-3 with falls, downing second-seeded Ray Yagloski (Johns Hopkins) in 2:25.
Two weeks later at King's, O'Boyle punched his return trip to the NCAA Division III wrestling championship after claiming his first NCAA Div. III East Regional championship on Sunday, Mar. 2.
The top seed opened his day at 133 with a bye before notching three straight decisions en route to the program's first-ever regional champion. O'Boyle topped Stevens' Ryan Wilson 6-4 before downing Delaware Valley's Conor Kirkegard 4-2 in the semis to ensure a return trip to the big show.
In the championship bout, O'Boyle topped second-seeded Myzar Mendoza 12-5 to improve to 28-1.
O'Boyle won three matches to finish fourth at the NCAA Div. III wrestling championship on Friday, Mar. 14 and Saturday, Mar. 15, becoming the ninth All-American in program history.
O'Boyle started his weekend at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids with a 2-0 day on Friday to assure himself All-America honors.
The second-seeded wrestler at 133, O'Boyle opened with an 8-3 win over Heidelberg's Colin McDermitt. In the night session, he recorded a 5-minute, 40-second fall over Dustin Weinmann (Wis.-La Crosse) to advance to the semifinals and assure he would finish no worse than sixth.
On Saturday morning, O'Boyle fell to the consolation bracket by virtue of a 12-6 loss to third-seeded Alex Gomez (Ithaca).
He won his first match on the wrestleback side of the bracket by a 6-5 decision over Concordia-Moorehead's Jacoby Bergeron to earn a spot in the third-place match.
In the third-place bout, fifth-seeded Jeremy Border (Mount Union) jumped on top early en route to a 15-6 victory.