COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The Ursinus College wrestling team handed coach Bill Racich a special piece of history this afternoon, dominating SUNY Sullivan and Penn College in their home tri match to give Racich his 500th career win. The Bears defeated the Generals, 53-3, making Racich only the seventh coach in NCAA history to reach the milestone, before upending the Wildcats by a 43-6 verdict.
Racich is the third Division III-only coach to reach 500 wins, joining Olivet College's Jare Klein (569) and TCNJ's David Icenhower (534). Racich and Pitt-Johnstown's Pat Pecora, who entered the 2015-16 season with 540 victories, are the only active bosses with at least 500. Dale Thomas, who guided Oregon State to 616 wins from 1957 to 1990, is the all-time leader.
Racich came within a whisker of history at a quad meet at Worcester Polytechnic Institute three weeks ago, but the Bears dropped razor-thin decisions to Norwich (22-21) and the host Engineers (22-20). There was no such drama on Sunday.
SUNY Sullivan started the dual with a decision at 125, but Ursinus utilized six forfeits and a pair of falls to leave no doubt against its shorthanded foe. After a pair of forfeits, freshman Patrick Rowe (Glen Mills, Pa./Garnet Valley) won by technical fall over Johnny Grandson at 149. Three more forfeits succeeded before freshman Nickolas Suk (Flemington, N.J./Hunterdon Central Regional) pinned Justin Robletto at 184, and after the sixth and final forfeit, junior Matan Peleg (Vadnais Heights, Minn./Mounds View) won by fall against Rob Cuomo in the heavyweight bout, putting the exclamation point on a rare piece of history.
With Racich having officially entered rarified air, the Bears went to work against Penn College, opening the match with three consecutive falls. Sophomore Christopher Tan (Robbinsville, N.J./Robbinsville) pinned Ben Doll in 2:28 at 125, senior Keven Hoogheem (Deerfield, Ill./Deerfield) did so opposite Aaron Doll in 1:22 at 133, and at 141 fellow senior Christian Hoogheem (Deerfield, Ill./Deerfield) capped the run with a pin of Ronnie Smith in 1:54.
The Wildcats got on the board when Rowe left with an injury, and Ursinus won by forfeit at 157 before freshman Jarret DiGiantomasso (Jackson, N.J./Jackson Memorial) scored a 3-0 decision over Tanner Leid at 165 in one of the day's most competitive bouts.
Junior Corey Markovitch (Cranford, N.J./Cranford) notched a 9-2 decision against Daniel Frankenfield at 174, and Suk won by major decision, 15-6, against Connor Route at 184.
Freshman William McGinley (Glenmoore, Pa./Downingtown) picked up a victory over Pat Fitzgerald via a 5-3 decision, and Peleg polished off the match – and Racich's 501st win – by pinning Zach Kane in 55 seconds.
The wrestling team will take two weeks off before heading south to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for the Citrus Invitational from December 29-30.