NEW YORK, NY - The New York University wrestling team completed day one of the 2017 NCAA Division III East Regional on February 24 at Franklin County High School in Rocky Mount, VA. The two-day event is being hosted by Ferrum College.

Nine of NYU's 10 wrestlers are still alive and have a chance to qualify for the upcoming NCAA Division III Championships. Five of those are in the semifinals as the squad is currently in second place (55.5 points) among 19 teams competing in the region. Ferrum is currently in first place with 69 points. The top three individuals at each weight class will qualify for the NCAA Championships.

"Our team is putting up points where we can and the guys are wrestling tough," said Senior Assistant Coach Corey Luce

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Nathan Pike (133 pounds), Raymond Jazikoff (157 pounds), Maykel Dolorit (165 pounds), John Messinger (174 pounds), and Blaise Benderoth (184 pounds) all advanced to the semifinals as they recorded victories in each of their first two bouts of the day. 

Jazikoff's second win was the 100th of his NYU career. The South Plainfield, NJ, native became just the sixth wrestler in program history to achieve the feat, joining fellow captain Messinger and Assistant Coach Gene Kobilansky on the list.

"Ray's mindset is to win a national title and he works hard towards that every day," added Luce. "It was nice to see him get his 100th win in this setting."

Four other wrestlers - Jacob Donato (125 pounds), Sean Lyons (141 pounds), Matthew Coppola (149 pounds), and Jack La Corte (197 pounds) - went 2-1 on day one and remain alive in the consolation bracket.

"Our goal is to win a team title and it was good to see some guys who lost early in the day bounce back," concluded Luce. "Those guys showed a lot of guts and earned some key bonus points for us."

The grapplers will complete action at the NCAA East Region tomorrow. Wrestling is set to begin at 9am back at Franklin County H.S.