DeSantis claims RMAC title, Pack places four
RMAC/West Regional Championships (Results will be posted later)
ALAMOSA, Colo. - Pack senior Louie DeSantis (Sr., Escondido, Calif.) claimed a dramatic come-from-behind win to claim the 149-pound RMAC/West Regional Championship Saturday, headlining a group of three ThunderWolves qualifying for nationals.
DeSantis, who entered the RMAC Tournament boasting a 7-1 record this season in 149-pound matches, stormed to the championship match against the one 149-pounder to best him this season in Nebraska-Kearney's T.J. Hepburn, the fourth-ranked 149-pounder in the nation.
Despite wrestling defensively against Hepburn for a bulk of the match, never getting a chance for a takedown, DeSantis made his move with just 13 seconds remaining in the third period.
Trailing 3-2, DeSantis caught Hepburn in a stumble, grabbed his left ankle and forced him to the mat. Dramatically, DeSantis was able to get on Hepburn's back just as the clock expired, earning two takedown points and the 4-3 decision.
DeSantis was one of three ThunderWolves to earn national tournament berths and four total Pack placers in all.
DeSantis will be joined at the national championships in Omaha by Justin Grant (Jr., Winnemucca, Nev.), who placed fourth at 165 pounds, and Patrick Carey (Jr., Tempe, Ariz.), who also placed fourth in the heavyweight class.
Treven Delaune (Fr., Marrero, La.) was a hair away from a national berth of his own at 125 pounds, placing fourth but losing a "True 4th Place" match to determine the national qualifier.
As a team, the ThunderWolves finished eighth overall, garnering 48.5 team points.
DeSantis, Grant and Carey will represent the ThunderWolves on March 12 at the University of Nebraska-Omaha at the 2010 NCAA Division II National Wrestling Championships.