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February 9, 2018

Wrestling Takes on UAA

This weekend, the University of Chicago will host the 31st annual UAA wrestling championship, a one-day round robin competition between the University of Chicago, NYU, and Case Western Reserve University. The 8–3 Maroons will look to defeat their two rivals and protect their house in what will be a fierce battle against the Spartans and the Bobcats. 

Chicago will look to maintain its momentum and continue to rack up victories in the UAA championship following its impressive win over non-conference competitor Augustana College. Initially, the Maroons faced an 18–0 deficit after failing to field wrestlers for the first three weight classes, but determination and hard work paid off as Chicago clawed their way back to finish with a 27–21 victory. After the first three matches where the Maroons did not have anyone to wrestle, the team went on an unstoppable run with wins in all but one match, which in it of itself was a solid battle against a nationally ranked competitor. Chicago capped off the night with a 2–0 decision, ultimately showing their resilience and their toughness. 

The Maroons have kicked their production into high gear in the latter half of the season, and have achieved outstanding finishes at their meets, such as earning 14th place at the recent Pete Wilson Wheaton Invitational. The team will look to better its second-place finish from last year in the UAA championship, and snap NYU’s six-consecutive championship win streak. 

A Chicago victory on Saturday would add another title to the team’s 15 total UAA championships, of which the most recent was in 2011.  

“Coming off of a big win over Augustana, we are feeling pretty confident,” third-year Mason Williams said. “Under coach Kocher, we have really improved our technique through the season. Conditioning is what is going to win these duals in the end though and coach has been really, really pushing us to improve these last few weeks. Keeping the team morale high will be the key to success this weekend.” 

The UAA Championships will start out at 11 a.m. on Sunday with Case Western taking on NYU, proceeding in weight class order. Matches will begin 15 minutes after the end of each match. Chicago will take on the loser of the first dual meet between the Spartans and the Bobcats at 12:45 p.m., and then will face the winner of the first match at 2:30 p.m. The NCAA tiebreaker method based on competition will be used to determine the champion should all three teams finish with the same record. At the end of the tournament, the All-UAA teams will be announced, along with Rookie of the Year, Coaching Staff of the Year, and Most Outstanding Wrestler at the UAA Award Ceremony. 

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