EWING, N.J., March 4, 2006 - Springfield College junior Mike Gaeta (Manalapan, N.J.) compiled a 5-2 record at 141 pounds to finish fifth in the weight class at this weekend's NCAA Division III Championships, hosted by the College of New Jersey.
Gaeta, ranked third at 141 pounds in all of Division III, started out with a first-round loss to Delaware Valley's Dan Hall (8-6). Gaeta then stormed back into contention, winning four-straight bouts over Niles Mercer (Coe), Kevin Koch (Concordia), Mike Rohowetz (UW Lacrosse), and Joel Burdick (UW Stevens Point). The junior was then matched up with fourth-ranked Paul LeBlanc from Cortland, as Gaeta lost a close 3-2 decision, putting him in the fifth place bout against Timothy Bohlman from York. Gaeta finished his 2006 season with a pin at the 6:26 mark over Bohlman to capture fifth at 141 pounds, finishing his junior campaign with just two losses overall.
Junior Mark DeCiccio (Cranston, R.I.) finished 1-2 overall on the weekend, competing in the 149-pound bracket. Like Gaeta, DeCiccio also lost a first-round match against Carl Amerine from Wilmington, ranked eighth at 149 pounds. DeCiccio then registered a decisive 10-4 victory over Ursinus' Brian Boland before falling to Oswego State's Dane LaPlante in a very close, 8-7 bout.
Senior Jason Leckey (Guilford, Conn.) fell in two consecutive matches at 197 pounds on the weekend, first losing to the third-ranked wrestler in the weight class, Matthew Loesch (Muhlenberg), 7-2, and then dropping a bout to Luther's Alec Bronander.
As a team, the Pride finished in a tie for 25th out of 60 competing teams at the championship event. SC's three wrestlers combined for a total of 12 points to place 26th overall. Wartburg College won the team title with 145.5 total team points, UW Lacrosse came in second with 106 points, and Augsburg College rounded out the top three with a team score of 84.5.