Sports

Anthony Ashnault Is Hitting His Stride For Rutgers Wrestling

Rutgers head wrestling coach Scott Goodale addresses the media after the Scarlet Knights win over Northwestern Credits: RVision1776 (YouTube)
c5ff2c6c13fbfd3b1122_IMG_4779.JPG
c5ff2c6c13fbfd3b1122_IMG_4779.JPG

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ -- Anthony Ashnault is used to winning.

In fact, the Rutgers University wrestler was the first-ever four-time and undefeated New Jersey State Champion, winning the state crown at 103, 112, 126, and 138 pounds in a 170-0 career at South Plainfield High School.

At Rutgers, Ashnault sports an official 84-15 overall record up to this point, is a two-time All-American at 141 pounds and is the 2016 Big Ten Champion.

Sign Up for E-News

But the former Tiger may be wrestling the best he ever has. This winter as a red-shirt junior, Ashnault is 23-3, and is currently in an 11-match winning-streak. Seventeen of his 23 wins this season have come by bonus points, the most of anybody on the team.

The No. 5-ranked grappler at 141 pounds has topped No. 15 Luke Pletcher (Ohio State), No. 12 Jimmy Guilbon (Penn State) and defeated 2016 NCAA runner-up Bryce Meredith of Wyoming, 8-6, in sudden victory at the 51st Annual NWCA All-Star Classic in November. Ashnault also earned a 6-1 record with three technical falls at the 54th Annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships in December. This past weekend in the No. 12 Scarlet Knights’ 28-6 victory over Northwestern at the Rutgers Athletic Center, the former baseball player beat Alec McKenna by way of a tech fall.

“He’s wrestling great,” Rutgers head coach Scott Goodale said of Ashnault. “Right now he’s wrestling really, really good. I know some people get upset when it’s not a major decision or a tech fall, but this is a hard thing to do and there is a lot of pressure there and he’s just wrestling really, really good right now. He gets in a couple of those zones, man, and he’s starting to feel it.”

Rutgers (12-4) will meet long-time foe No. 11 Lehigh (9-4) today at the Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania at 7 p.m. in the NWCA National Duals Championship Series. Lehigh owns a 42-3 record over the Scarlet Knights in the series, but Rutgers has taken two of the last three matches.

Last year, Rutgers edged Lehigh 18-15 at the RAC in the thriller NWCA National Duals that went down to the wire when Billy Smith pulled out the win in the final heavyweight bout. In that dual, Ashnault bested Randy Cruz 9-2. In the 2014-15 season at the NCAA Championships, Ashnault beat Cruz in the round of 12 to secure All-America status.

Ashnault and No. 16 Cruz will lock horns once again on the mat on Friday night. The Big Ten Championships will then take place March 4-5 in Bloomington, Indiana.

“He always (gets in a zone) at this time of the year he’ll be prepared and he’ll have a big one Friday and he’ll prepare for the Big Ten’s and try to defend (his title),” Goodale said. “But it’s more about you can’t think that way of defending, it’s about going out and getting another one.

“That’s the way he’s been practicing. You can see the way he’s wrestling now and you can see the way he wrestled against Ohio State. He’s going out scoring a lot of points against really good guys. So, he’s starting to hit his stride and hopefully that continues.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - April 24, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

STATEWIDE - Yeah, yeah, New Jersey has really high taxes. And, yeah, it is super expensive to live here. So, yet another study is out, with the American Legislative Exchange Council ranking New Jersey second-to-last among states in economic performance and 46th in economic outlook, ROI-NJ reports. The study, called "Rich States, Poor ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 23, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

STATEWIDE - First, there was a turkey in every pot. Then there was the "Square Deal," the "New Deal" and now Sen. Cory Booker says it is time for government to offer a, uh, great deal: A job to anyone who wants one. He is proposing federal grants that would select 15 "local areas" in which adults could get a job at $15 an ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 20, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

ON THE ROAD - It looks like a State Police trooper is going to have to head to the bars to pick up chicks, indicted yesterday for intentionally pulling over women in a desperate attempt to land dates. Internal affairs learned the Trooper was pulling over two lovely ladies at the end of 2016, threatening to arrest them if they didn't hand over their ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 19, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

PLAINFIELD - Those who dabble in Union County politics are learning this morning that the former Democratic chairman, Jerry Green, has died at age 79 after a long illness. Green, a longtime assemblyman from Plainfield, rose through the ranks from serving on the freeholder board in the late 1980s.  He will be remembered as a Roselle native, a ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 18, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

PATERSON - At campaign rallies, why not just cut to the chase? That's what's happening in the Silk City, where a local social media celebrity was handing out $20 bills to would-be voters at a rally on Sunday for mayoral contender Pedro Rodriguez. Our favorite entertainer of all time, Fatboy SSE, had a thick wad of cash, which he was passing out ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 17, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

AT THE POLLING BOOTH - Guess what? New Jerseyans don't like the Trump tax plan. It's also not surprising that a potential voter revolt could flip all five of the state's Republican House seats, according to a new Monmouth University poll. NJ.com reports that the new federal tax bill disproportionately hurts taxpayers in New Jersey ...

Rutgers professor named Pulitzer Prize finalist

April 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - For Evie Shockley, poetry – and her professorship at Rutgers University–New Brunswick – are central to her engagement with a world that needs change and central to the ways she prepares students to do their own engagement.

This week, Shockley was selected as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in the poetry category. The Pulitzer ...

Rutgers Professor Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

NEW BRUNSWICK - Helen M. Berman, Board of Governors distinguished professor emerita of chemistry and chemical Biology at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Berman is among 213 people elected to the academy this year, including author Ta-Nehisi Coates, actor Tom Hanks, President Barack Obama, Supreme ...

Questions now swirl around reported Rutgers theft

NEW BRUNSWICK - A crime alert issued by Rutgers police about an armed robbery on Tuesday April 10 has turned out to be false. 

Upon further investigation, police said the alleged incident in front of the Campbell Hall dorm on George Street did not happen as was initially reported. Police had said initially that the suspect showed a handgun, ordered the ...

NB Public Schools task force takes on chronic absenteeism

April 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK – Being absent for just two days each month means a student will miss 10 percent of the entire school year – enough to negatively impact that student’s academic performance.

It’s sobering information, and a clear demonstration that chronically absent students are at a tremendous educational disadvantage, one from which many of them will never recover.

OPINION

Safe Sleep for Babies Requires Effort from All

April 10, 2018

For more than a decade, my organization, Keeping Babies Safe (KBS), has sounded the steady drumbeat of safe sleep awareness, which in turn has created bans on dangerous products and has helped enact laws that work to ensure babies are sleeping safely.

In 2018, KBS kicked off its latest awareness campaign designed to promote safe sleep practices and products ...

'Elementary, My Dear Watson!' Solving Mysteries with Genetic Geneaology

April 20, 2018

The next meeting of the New Brunswick Historical Society will be on Thursday, April 26 at 7:00 p.m. Andrew May will speak about Genetic Genealogy. Humans are 99.9% identical in their genetic makeup, yet, differences in 0.1% of our DNA has helped us answer questions about our recent and deep ancestral origins. Direct-to-consumer DNA testing provides the toolbox for solving difficult ...

Why People Should Visit Black Churches and Black People Should Welcome Them

March 29, 2018

Dear TAPInto New Brunswick,

In New Jersey, segregation is a cultural issue that demands the immediate attention of Christians. Nearly 87 percent of Christian churches in the U.S. are either made up of only white, or only African-American parishioners. When we worship in the comfortable bubble of segregation, we miss the opportunity for racial reconciliation, as mandated by Jesus:

"A ...