No. 1 Ryan Flores and No. 13 Matt Mariacher have been selected as Co-AU Student-Athletes of the Week presented by GEICO following their individual titles at the 108th EIWA Championships in Princeton, N.J., over the weekend.
Flores and Mariacher helped lead the 12th-ranked Eagles to a third-place team finish at the event, setting a new program record for the best finish. AU finished fourth last year, which set a program record at the time, and ended up coming in fifth at the 2011 NCAA Championships in Philadelphia.
Flores, the No. 1-nationally ranked wrestler and top-seed in the tournament, won his second straight and third career EIWA title with a dramatic 3-1 sudden victory win over No. 2-nationally-ranked Zach Rey of Lehigh in the finals. Rey pinned each of his first three tournament opponents in 3:24, becoming the first Eagle to ever win the Billy Sheridan Memorial Trophy, given to the wrestler who records the most falls in the tournament in the shortest amount of time. Flores will enter the NCAA Championships with a perfect 17-0 mark this season with 13 pins. Click here to watch the full video of Flores' championship win over Rey.
After drawing a first-round bye, No. 13-nationally-ranked Mariacher posted a perfect 3-0 record at the EIWA Championships to claim his second straight conference crown. The fifth-seed in the tournament defeated the No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4 seeds -- all of whom were nationally-ranked -- en route to the title. Mariacher pinned top-seeded Zack Kemmerer of Pennsylvania in the semifinals before his exciting 6-4 decision over Cornell's Michael Nevinger, the tournament's second-seed, in Sunday’s championship bout. Mariacher will head to the NCAA Championships, looking to improve upon his Round of 12 finish from last year. Click here to watch Mariacher's championship match against Nevinger.
Flores, Mariacher, EIWA runner-up Kevin Tao, and returning All-American Ganbayar Sanjaa have qualified to the NCAA Championship as a result of their EIWA performances over the weekend. At-large bids for the NCAAs will be announced on Wednesday.