SUNY Cortland will serve as the host school for the 27th annual Empire Collegiate Wrestling Conference (ECWC) Championships on Saturday, Jan. 20, in the Whitney T. Corey Gymnasium. The tournament will feature up to 160 wrestlers representing six schools (Brockport, Cortland, Ithaca, Oneonta, Oswego and RIT).
The tournament will start at 10 a.m., and the championship finals, along with third-place and fifth-place matches, are slated for 4:30 p.m. The tournament includes up to two wrestlers at each weight class from each school, plus selected at-large competitors, totaling a maximum of 16 wrestlers per weight class. The highest finishing wrestler for a school in each weight class will determine the team points.
Ithaca has won 11 ECWC titles, including each of the last four years. Brockport has captured nine league titles, most recently in 2006. Cortland has won five league titles, including a shared crown with Ithaca in 2008. The Red Dragons' most recent league title came in 2012. The only other school to win an ECWC title was Messiah College in 2013; the Falcons are no longer members of the conference. There was no team scoring at the inaugural ECWC Championship in 1992.
This year's tournament includes two nationally ranked teams – Ithaca is ranked third nationally and Brockport is ranked 22nd by the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA). The competing teams also feature 12 NWCA nationally ranked individuals: Ithaca's Ben Brisman (4th, 141), Sam Schneider (4th, 149), Nick Velez (3rd, 165), Jaison White (10th, 174), Jake Ashcraft (3rd, 184) and Jake O'Brien (5th, 285); Brockport's Jonathan Haas (1st, 125), Sean Peacock (6th, 149) and Triston Engle (9th, 197); Oneonta's Kevin Knox (10th, 133) and James Bethel (4th, 285); and Oswego's Troy Seymour (8th, 174).
NCAA championship individual berths will be determined during NCAA regional competition February 24-25. For the first time this year, all ECWC members will compete as part of the same regional qualifier (Mideast). The top three finishers in each weight class at the regional qualifiers earn a trip to the NCAA Division III Championships March 9-10 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Video Feeds Links (there will be one wide shot of all the mats, and another shot that will focus on Cortland's preliminary matches and the championship match mat)