MANHEIM, Pa. – Four Castleton University wrestlers were honored by the National Wrestling Coaches Association on Thursday as they were named NWCA Division III All-Academic individuals.
Owen Kretschmer, Mitchell LaFlam, Max Tempel and Michael Gonyea each earned the accolade for Castleton, proving their prowess both on the mat and in the classroom. To earn All-Academic honors, individual wrestlers must have at least a 3.2 GPA for the previous full academic year. In addition, they must either be a national qualifier or an all-region selection with a season winning percentage of .500 or better, or they must have an overall winning percentage of .670 or better and competed in half of the institution's scheduled NCAA events.
Kretschmer finished the season with a 29-12 mark at the 125 for the Spartans in his rookie campaign, winning 10 matches by decision and 11 matches via fall. LaFlam controlled the 197-pound weight class for Castleton, going 27-17 with 13 wins via decision and 10 wins via fall.
Tempel was a force for the Spartans all season, going 33-8 and qualifying for the NCAA National Championships with 19 wins via decision, six wins via major decision and seven pins with his time split between the 141 and 149. Gonyea was dominant for the Spartans at the 133 all season, taking over the starting role as a rookie and posting a 39-4 record en route to All-Region accolades. He had a 14-1 record in matches decided via fall, and was 5-0 in both major decisions and technical falls.
"On behalf of the NWCA Board of Directors, I would like to congratulate all of the wrestlers, teams, and their staffs who have demonstrated a tireless commitment to supporting the ideal of educationally based athletics," NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer said. "What can get lost during the season of competition is that these young men are students first and it is our honor to be able to recognize the individuals and squads who risen to a level of excellence academically."
The Spartans finished the campaign with a program-best fifth-place finish at the NCAA Regional Championships and sent a pair of wrestlers—Tempel and Jesse Webb—to the NCAA Division III National Championships in Roanoke, Va.