Wilkes Wrestling sees school record and NCAA Championship

Beacon Archive

Frank Passalacqua, Sports Co-Editor

After finishing the season with a 19-3 record, the Wilkes University men’s wrestling team see’s the 2013 season as a success.

No. 7 Wilkes started off the season by losing their first three matches in the John Reese Duals, but turned it around in the final game against Johns Hopkins University in the tournament. The 28-6 victory kick-started a school-record that would send the team on a 19-match winning streak, the longest in school history, with their last lost on November 10, 2012.

The record came in a 36-9 victory over King’s College, breaking a previous 33 year-old school record of 18 consecutive wins coming during the 1979-80 season.

On top of setting a school record, four Wilkes wrestlers qualified for the NCAA Championships at East Regional.

Coach Jon Laudenslager reflects on the season as well as the upcoming championships for his team.

“We won 19 straight dual meets and we have had an outstanding year,” Laudenslager said. “We didn’t have a great team performance at the regional but still we have four guys in the NCAA tournament in Iowa. When you have guys that make a very high commitment to high expectations, you’re not surprised at what a team can accomplish. We are all so proud of our guys and look forward to hopefully bringing home four All-Americans and some National Champs.”

Mark Hartenstine (149) and Kris Krawchuk (157) finished the year second in their weight classes. Matt Transue (197) and William Fletcher (285) both qualified for the NCAA Championships by finishing third in their weight classes as well.

Junior Matt Transue rejoices about his opportunity and making it to the NCAA Championship.

“It has been a goal that I’ve had for myself since I arrived at Wilkes and I’m glad it’s finally happening,” said Transue.

This is Transue’s first time qualifying despite great finishes to his first two seasons.

“It feels great knowing the team has worked hard all season and we were able to send four guys to Nationals. We wrestled at a high level all season, now it’s just fine-tuning what we know to make ready for Nationals,” Transue said.

Transue ended the 2012-13 season at 25-9, and 50-18 on his career.

Teammates Hartenstine finished his sophomore year with a record of 21-2, junior Krawchuk is 26-3 and 62-22 on his career, and junior Fletcher finished 21-9 with a 41-27 career tally.

During the March 16th NCAA Championships at Cedar Rapids Arena, Krawchuck finished his season as the national runner-up with an overall record of 29-4. After crushing his first three opponents, Krawchuck fell 3-0 to the unseeded Devin Biscaha in the finals. Krawchuck was ranked in the top five nationally throughout the entire 2012-13 season for Wilkes and earned his first All-American status of his career.

This season marks the fifth straight year that the Colonels produced an All-American and second consecutive national finalist at the NCAA Championships.