Mar 18, 2015
They have posted two of the best seasons in American University Wrestling history. In one criteria, they've been the best two ever.
But David Terao and John Boyle head to St. Louis this week to put an even better cap on 2015 as the NCAA Wrestling Championships begin Thursday.
Terao and Boyle, both juniors for the Eagles, have the top two single-season win totals in school history. Terao enters the 125-pound draw at 37-5, while Boyle's 36-8 record earned him the eighth-seed in the 157-pound bracket.
First-round matches at the Scottrade Center begin at noon Eastern Time on Thursday, with the second session at 7 p.m. ET. The third session, featuring quarterfinals, starts Friday at 11 a.m. ET, with Session IV, including semifinals, set for 8 p.m. ET.
Saturday's action begins at 11 a.m. with wrestle-back semis, third-, fifth- and seventh-place matches. The finals are set to begin at 8 p.m. ET.
All sessions will be broadcast by the ESPN networks. ESPN3 will carry individual mat feeds throughout the entire tournament.
AU fans will be able to follow the action on Twitter by following @AU_Wrestling and checking the hashtag #AUinSTL.
DAVID TERAO (Junior, 125 Pounds, Honolulu, Hawaii)
Terao is making his third trip to NCAA in as many years, hoping that experience will help him know what's ahead.
"You just feel comfortable, you know what to expect," he said before the team left D.C. on Tuesday morning. "It's little things. Like how the announcer's voice sounds in that big arena. Other things, like having to deal with the hotel, when to eat, getting to the arena.
"Small things really matter. I think I'm less nervous because of that. There are still tons of nerves because it's Nationals, but it helps keep it to a controllable level."
Terao has shown few nerves and considerable results this season. He finished second at the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championships in early March, losing only to Nahshon Garrett of Cornell in the final. Garrett earned the No. 2 seed at nationals.
Terao finished one tie-breaker loss from All-America status at last year's Nationals, but thinks he's improved this season.
"I have a mindset of attacking and scoring points," he said. Rather than just trying to win, I'm always trying to think to myself, just go out and score points. If I keep scoring, I'm probably going to win.
"Not even thinking about the win helps, just thinking about the task at hand."
In high school, Terao beat Thursday's first-round opponent Dylan Peters of Northern Iowa, who is seeded ninth at 23-5.
Jesse Delgado of Illinois or eighth-seeded Tyler Cox of Wyoming would be Terao's next opponent on Thursday night.
Terao also knows that he and Boyle are supported by the positive legacy of AU Wrestling.
"It pops into my mind," he said of representing the program and the university. "It's an honor because of the people who have come before us. We've had Josh Glenn, Mike Cannon, Steve Fittery and (assistant coach) Kyle Borshoff. Being able to be in the same position they were and having the same opportunity helps us.
"It's a real blessing just because they've done so well. They're also doing great things in their careers now, it's nice to be able to follow in their footsteps. That's the thing I like most about it."
JOHN BOYLE (Junior, 157 Pounds, Rutherford, N.J.)
Boyle's 36-8 record has included an astounding 13 matches (7-6) against wrestlers who have made Nationals. That in itself gives him reason for some confidence heading to St. Louis.
"I can't wait. I'm really excited for it," said Boyle. "I can't wait to be able to perform and show what I've got to the rest of the country.
"I need to just keep doing what I do best... Get to my attacks and have some fun. It's all about going out there, not putting too much pressure on myself, just being confident and having fun. If you do that, results will come."
A positive result came for Boyle at the EIWA Championships. Seeded sixth at conference, Boyle wrestled his way to the final, losing to Cornell's Brian Realbuto, who has earned the second seed at Nationals.
Boyle is seeded eighth in the 157-pound bracket and will face Steven Hernandez of Boise State (18-7) in his first-round match. Second-round matchups could be either with ninth-seeded Joey LaVallee of Missouri or Nick Brascetta of Vermont.
Eagle fans are hoping the wrestling they've seen thus far from the AU accounting major translates to the big stage.
"I'd like to think I'm very fast and very strong," Boyle said of his style. "I like to think I'm resilient... Just keep doing things until I score. I don't want to stop after one try, just keep going, keep working until I score."