BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - Coming off its most successful dual-match season in the past eight years, American University heads to the 115th annual Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championships this weekend with NCAA berths on the line.
The tournament begins with first-round matches on Friday morning at 11 a.m. and continues Friday evening with quarterfinals. Saturday's sessions include semifinals (10 a.m.) and championship matches (3 p.m.)
AU finished its dual-match season with a 7-4 record, its best record in eight seasons. The Eagles hope to continue that success at this year's tournament.
Follow the Eagles trip through the EIWA Tournament this weekend live on Twitter at @AU_Wrestling.
• The Eagles will try to improve on their sixth-place finish in the team standings from a year ago that saw five wrestlers earn places at EIWA. AU sent five wrestlers to the NCAA Tournament a year ago, with Josh Terao, Gage Curry and Michael Sprague seeking return trips.
• Three others - Sprague (24th at 149), Kizhan Clarke (26th at 157) and Niko Camacho (33rd at 285) - joined their teammates to give AU six student-athletes in the top 33 of the RPI in their weight classes.
• Josh Terao seeks a trip to his third NCAA Nationals and has another milestone within reach. His next victory will make him the 9th Eagle ever to reach 100 wins in his career. Another berth at NCAAs would make him the seventh Eagle in history to be a three-time qualifier.
• AU has a number of wrestlers who earned seeds in a pre-seeding process for the EIWAs. Curry (7th at 125), Terao (2nd at 133), Mutchnik (4th at 141), Sprague (5th at 149), Clarke (8th at 157), Harvey (6th at 184) and Camacho (5th at 285) were pre-seeded pending Thursday evening's coaches meeting.
• Each weight class has an allocation of spots from the NCAA, and a wrestler who finishes among that group earns a berth to the Nationals, to be held in March 21 to 23 in Pittsburgh. Once the automatic-qualifying spots have been determined over each conference tournament nationally this weekend, the NCAA will announce at-large invitations and final brackets early next week.
• The EIWA field includes 16 Division I institutions in the northeast, including Patriot League and Ivy League schools that sponsor wrestling. Lehigh is the defending team champion and was listed 12th in the nation in the most recent tournament team rankings by IntermatWrestle.com. Other ranked EIWA schools were Cornell (8th) and Princeton (15th). The EIWA is the oldest collegiate athletic conference in the nation.