Sports

Rutgers Wrestler Anthony Ashnault Repeats As 141-Pound Big Ten Champion

2238426258e14b875cef_IMG_5103.JPG
Rutgers wrestler and South Plainfield native earns his second-straight 141 Big Ten Conference Tournament Championship Credits: Big Ten Network/BTN2Go
d14fea264135d56d7e3d_C6LukLeWAAAbDYi.jpg
Anthony Ashnault at the podium Credits: @RUWrestling Twitter Account
0c5ba555b205af5b4065_IMG_5102.JPG
Credits: Big Ten Network/BTN2Go
bfe4ad63dc77aa0edfa6_IMG_5083.JPG
Credits: Big Ten Network/BTN2Go
1d769cfdcf2b5b655f3a_IMG_5086.JPG
Credits: Big Ten Network/BTN2Go
a23c5f5435d96058e9ca_IMG_5096.JPG
Credits: Big Ten Network/BTN2Go
35ac1993b4e375c4e1da_IMG_5097.JPG
Credits: Big Ten Network/BTN2Go
571fbfbd7dedcff8e869_IMG_5099.JPG
Credits: Big Ten Network/BTN2Go
61aeaaaf9b58d05ef7fb_IMG_5100.JPG
Credits: Big Ten Network/BTN2Go
c9ca35c03d87e1908000_IMG_5101.JPG
Credits: Big Ten Network/BTN2Go
2238426258e14b875cef_IMG_5103.JPG

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ-- Anthony Ashnault must listen to a heavy dose of rap artist DJ Khaled because all he does is win.

The top-seeded 141-pound Rutgers wrestler defeated seventh-seeded Javier Gasca III of Michigan State 15-2 (major decision) in convincing fashion to earn his second straight Big Ten championship inside Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on the campus of Indiana University on Sunday. Ashnault (29-3) has won 15 consecutive matches and is now the program’s second two-time conference champion.

“I wanted to be dominant and show the country I’m the man to mess with. I want to be at the top of podium at the end of the NCAA Tournament and performances like this one and playing at a pace like that is what it’s going to take,” Ashnault said in his post-match interview with Big Ten Network. “In my head I’m just thinking score points and don’t let up off the gas pedal and I feel like I did that well today.”

Sign Up for E-News

Ashnault jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the first period with a takedown on the edge about 35 seconds into the first period, and then became aggressive scoring a four-point near-fall 20 seconds later. Gasca III (30-7) earned a point from an escape.

The score would remain the same until the third period when Gasca picked up an escape point moments after Ashnault took control once again earning another takedown and four-point near-fall via the cradle to make it 12-2.

Then the Scarlet Knights’ grappler recorded his second takedown of the period with 10 seconds to go. He was awarded another point with 2:36 minutes of riding time to make it 15-2.

After it was over, he pointed to his family and let out a big smile.

(Watch his championship match below)

Back-to-back, baby!@RUWrestling's Anthony Ashnault wins second straight @B1Gwrestling crown. https://t.co/dT0deq2n4B

— Rutgers On BTN (@RutgersOnBTN) March 5, 2017

 

Ashnault earned a first-round bye before beating eighth-seeded Cole Martin (Wisconsin) by way of major decision 9-1 in the Championship Quarterfinals and fifth-seeded Luke Pletcher (Ohio State) 5-1 in the Championship Semifinals to advance to the title match.

Pletcher and Ashnault met just a few weeks ago with Ashnault dominating to a 10-1 victory, but this time the redshirt junior escaped from the bottom, got two takedowns, and played defense for the win.

"He found a way to win. Very solid, hard to score on, very stingy," said Rutgers head coach Scott Goodale of Ashnault’s bouts on Saturday according to ScarletKnights.com. "He's getting into some scrambles which I don't like too much because some guys are getting to his legs, but these guys are really good so these battles are going to be going on for the rest of the weekend. He's stingy and he's wrestling through all positions. Anthony is being Anthony and that's good."

Ashnault, a South Plainfield native who went 170-0 with four state titles in his high school career, had two other former South Plainfield High School (SPHS) Tigers compete at the Big Ten championships alongside of him in a Rutgers singlet -- 133-pounder Scott DelVecchio and 165-pounder Dylan Painton.

Ashnault and DelVecchio punched their tickets with automatic qualifying bids to the national tournament as DelVecchio finished in seventh place at his weight beating 12th-seeded Austin Eicher of Michigan State by  default. DelVecchio earned his second spot to the NCAA’s (also went in 2015) by topping 10th-seeded Eli Stickley (Wisconsin) 5-1 in the Consolation Second Round.

Unfortunately for Painton, who earned the opportunity to compete in the conference tournament by beating teammate Anthony Pafumi in a one-bout wrestle-off in practice last week, was eliminated in Session I losing both his first two matches to eighth-seeded Drew Hughes (Michigan State) and Johnny Sebastian (Northwestern). Painton has one year of eligibility remaining, but chose to give that up and was honored recently on Senior Day.

 

Here's our exclusive look at Anthony Ashnault with his parents, fresh of a 2nd straight 141-pound Big Ten title: https://t.co/8yCgUjFlDB

— RVision (@RVisionRU) March 5, 2017

 

A two-time All-American, Ashnault will strive for his third honor at the 2017 NCAA Championships in St. Louis from March 16-18. After finishing in fourth last year and eighth in 2015 at the NCAA’s, the laser-focused Ashnault won’t be satisfied until he is No. 1.

“Just staying mentally strong in a lot of key moments like before match,” Ashnault said when asked what will be critical aspect going into the national tournament. “I just have to think positive in my pre-match thoughts and block all negativity out and just have the same approach in every match. You have to think like it’s practice and just go out there and let it fly.”

He also wants the state university of New Jersey to be a powerhouse on the mat as well

“I came to Rutgers to make a big change," Ashnault said to NJ.com. "I could've been at these schools that are finishing Top 5 in the country every year. In the end, my decision was to come to Rutgers and part of my journey is to make Rutgers into a powerhouse.

"That's what drives me everyday. It's not just my individual goals. It's to make Rutgers a better program overall. Even though it's me individually winning, I've got an 'R' on my chest. I'm representing Rutgers, New Jersey and South Plainfield. It means a lot to me."

It is only a matter of time that Ashnault is put on the Rutgers Athletics Mount Rushmore.

As of this writing, the Scarlet Knights will sent six wrestlers to the NCAA Championships.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - June 19, 2018

TRENTON - It is June. That must mean our state lawmakers are yelling at each other over the proposed state budget, which must be adopted by the end of the month or government shuts down. Some media is refraining from coverage of the daily blow-by-blow, as the typical resident just assumes taxes will go up, no matter what. But, here is the latest. Gov. Phil Murphy has his proposed ...

The Jaffe Briefing - June 18, 2018

DOWN THE SHORE - If you see all those mega-mansions on the beach, and admit to being just a wee bit jealous, here's something to quietly smile about: All of those glorious homes will likely be underwater.  NJ Spotlight reports rising sea levels make the New Jersey coast particularly vulnerable, with the Garden State ranking second to Florida with the biggest chronic risk ...

The Jaffe Briefing - June 15, 2018

JERSEY CITY - Should topless women be allowed in the city?  That's the big issue consuming the City Council these days, as members continue to debate 1980s-era obscenity laws. There was supposed to be a vote at the council meeting on Wednesday, but it didn't happen. Before there is a vote, it appears the goal is to wrangle support of all nine members of the City Council. The nagging ...

The Jaffe Briefing - June 14, 2018

EAST RUTHERFORD - The typical sports fan in New Jersey has until 2026 to get excited about professional soccer. That's because the Meadowlands could be the epicenter of the soccer world, a contender to host the World Cup. It could be  an amazing coup for New Jersey, although expect worldwide marketers to try to convince everyone that the big game would be played in "New ...

The Jaffe Briefing - June 13, 2018

ATLANTIC CITY - When the Hard Rock Café and Casino opens June 28, a strip club will also open on the property. But this isn't your typical, dark titty bar. No, it is 36,000 square feet of space, about the size of a typical Marshalls. So, figure the place is wall-to-wall strippers, each jiggling for money. That could equal about 300 jiggles per minute on a ...

The Jaffe Briefing - June 12, 2018

STATEWIDE - Perhaps it is time for the state to upgrade to Windows 95, as the second big computer crash in a week spelled disaster for the state's computer systems. The biggest hit came to the state's Motor Vehicle agencies, jamming efforts to renew driver's licenses, or for people to get titles or register vehicles. This mess somehow made the lines at the MVC even longer, the ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, June 21, 8:00 PM

New Brunswick

Sing-a-Long Grease: 40th Anniversary

Carousel_image_f442011d67fefc1cb5a2_spb-4937_newsletter_june_23

Sat, June 23, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Southern Maryland Blue ...

Rutgers-led “Tick Blitz” finds exotic Longhorned Ticks statewide

June 5, 2018

New Brunswick, N.J. - Researchers at  University–New Brunswick’s Rutgers Center for Vector Biology have found exotic longhorned ticks in four New Jersey counties – and confirmed that these northeast Asian ticks have been present in the Garden State since at least 2013.

The new detection of these ticks in Mercer County was made through the first-ever statewide ...

Rutgers football stadium has a new name

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Many still call it Rutgers Stadium.

But for seven years, the university's football stadium has been known as High Point Solutions Stadium, thanks to a $600,000 annual agreement with a Sparta-based company. But, as the company has shifted its marketing, so has the stadium's name.

So, now, Rutgers is officially home to "HighPoint.com Stadium" for the 2018 ...

Composer lyrisicist Sondheim at Rutgers, tells would-be writers ‘it’s hard work’

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Acclaimed Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim says his work is less about talent and more about the labor and drudgery of “hard work.”

“It’s not about waiting for inspiration. It’s not about talent,” Sondheim said Friday while speaking before an audience at Rutgers University’s Nicholas Music Center.

“You ...

Couple netted $8M from fake Uggs, designer bags, prosecutor says

June 15, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A Plainsboro couple could face charges of of selling counterfeit designer shoes and handbags, netting $8 million and sending $3 million to people in China, authorities said today.

Yan Shi, 36, and her husband, Weiping Liu, 40, were arrested Thursday and charged with first-degree money laundering and second-degree conspiracy to violate the New Jersey Trademark ...

OPINION

Hearing Loss Common in School-Aged Children

May 30, 2018

With close to 15% of U.S. children ages 6–19 experiencing hearing loss, New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NJSHA) notes that May Is Better Hearing & Speech Month is the ideal time for parents to learn more about the sometimes-subtle signs of hearing loss, ways it can affect school-aged children, and where to find help.

“Some children are born ...

Promise Culinary School Slates Open Houses June 21 and 22 In New Brunswick with Tours, Tastings, Prizes

June 15, 2018

Promise Culinary School will host open houses for the community and prospective students on Thursday, June 21, from noon to 3 p.m. and 5  to 7:30 p.m., and on Friday, June 22, from noon to 4 p.m. at 211 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick. The events are free and open to the public.

The events will include kitchen tours, demonstrations, tastings, raffles and prizes. Tours and activities ...

Ensure Safe Sleep While Traveling with Baby

June 6, 2018

As we approach the summer, there will be plenty of expected travel for families, from visiting grandma at the beach to heading out on a long, well-deserved vacation. 

When staying overnight at a friend’s or family’s place, it is important to maintain the same sleep practices as you do at home. Your baby should be sleeping in a safe, modern crib that meets the latest ...