BRISTOL, R.I. – Senior Zak Hale qualified for the NCAA Division III Wrestling National Championships by finishing in second place in the 141-pound bracket Sunday at the NCAA Northeast Regional Wrestling Championships, hosted by Roger Williams University at the Campus Recreation Center.
Hale, an NCAA qualifier during his time at Anderson University in South Carolina before he transferred to Castleton, punched his ticket to this year's national championships by defeating Brendon Seyfried of Williams College in the semifinals with a 4-2 decision victory. In the regional final, he held the lead over Joseph Ferinde of Johnson & Wales before Ferinde scored points late in the third period to tie the score and force an overtime period, where Ferinde prevailed over Hale (SV-1 10-4).
Entering the day, Tyreek Staton and Mitchell LaFlam also had chances to qualify for the national championships. In the 125-pound bracket, Staton lost in the semifinals to eventual regional champion Bobby Jordan of Johnson & Wales in a major decision (11-0), followed by a loss in the consolation semifinals to Joey Aumann of Plymouth State in a 7-4 decision. Staton would rebound and earn fifth place for All-Region honors after defeating Nick Barbaria of Roger Williams in an 8-5 decision victory.
At 184 pounds, LaFlam saw his regional participation come to an end with a pinfall loss to Michael DiNardo of Johnson & Wales in the consolation quarterfinals.
As a team, Castleton University remained in 13th place in the team standings with 33 points, ahead of six teams including Plymouth State and Norwich. Johnson & Wales won the regional team title with 171.5 points, 32 points more than second place Ithaca College.
Hale will travel to La Crosse, Wis., for the NCAA Division III Wrestling National Championships on March 10-11.