AB wrestler competes at nationals

Sita closes sophomore season with 1-2 effort

CLEVELAND — Alderson Broaddus Sophomore Gino Sita battled through a difficult field and finished 1-2 on the day at the NCAA Championships at the Wolstein Center on the campus of Cleveland State on Saturday.

In the opener, Sita drew another regional champion in Kutztown’s TC Warner. After a scoreless first period, Sita made the choice to go down and Warner was able to score a total of eight near fall points to take an 8-0 lead after two. Warner escaped to start the third and finished the match with a takedown and two near fall points set the final at 13-0.

“It was an interesting and emotional day,” AB head coach Sam Gardner said. “We had a plan and a strategy going into the first bout, which we sadly got away from. If we wrestle that match again I believe it goes a different way.”

In his opening consolation match, Sita won a thriller over Faris Teia of UNC-Pembroke 6-5 in tie breaker one. Sita scored an early takedown to jump out 2-0 in the first. Teia would escaped to cut the lead in half. Sita’s lead grew to 3-1 after a penalty point was awarded.

After a scoreless second period, Teia would open the third with an escape to make the score 3-2. Teia scored a takedown at the edge of the mat and after a coaches challenge by coach Gardner, the call stood and Sita trailed 4-3 with four seconds left. In those four seconds Sita managed to get out and send the match to overtime tied 4-4.

Neither wrestler scored in the sudden victory and Teia was able to ride Sita for the entire 30 seconds of the tiebreaker. Sita cut Teia to make the score 5-4 and allowing himself 30 seconds to try for the takedown. Sita hit his shot and was able to finish the takedown at the edge of the mat with three seconds remaining to secure the victory.

“The second match was one of the most exciting matches I have ever had the chance to sit mat side for,” Gardner said. “Twice he was on the cusp of losing and twice he dug deep and pulled it out. He showed guts and presence in both those bouts.”

In the blood round, Sita matched up with Michael Raccioppi of East Stroudsburg. Raccioppi scored a first period takedown and was able to turn Sita and score the fall in 2:03 ending another stellar season for the Battlers’ 174 pounder.

“In his blood round match, he just got beat, plain and simple,” Gardner said. “He had another amazing year and we are heart broken for it to end the way it did. We are really proud of how he represented himself and Alderson Broaddus.”