By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The NCAA Division III wrestling championships are this weekend in La Crosse, Wisconsin and a Delaware Valley College wrestler is headed there with hopes of a national championship in tow.
149-pounder Zak Andrews has put together one of the best careers in program history out in Doylestown. And that’s really saying something, considering the Delaware Valley wrestling program is one of the most decorated in the country.
Ranked second in the country in Division III in the 149-pound weight class, Andrews is 28-3 this season. He earned All-American status at last year’s national tournament. His 114 career victories ranks fourth on the school’s all-time list. Of those 114 career wins, 63 have come via a pin. The Emmaus, Pennsylvania native says that’s no accident.
“I love just ending matches, as quickly as I can,” Andrews says. “I really think that me as a pinner kind of helps me stand out and my ability to do that from different positions. I can score pinning combinations from the top position, I’m pretty decent with throws on my feet. So just having that level of, I guess aggression, being able to just impose my will, is really what makes me stand out.”
Andrews got into this years national tournament as a wild-card selection after being tripped up in the finals of the Metropolitan Conference Championship. He says that defeat will have him wrestling with even more of an edge this weekend.
Listen to KYW’s Matt Leon’s interview with Zak Andrews:
“Absolutely. Throughout my season so far, the first two losses came in our opening tournament. After that I did not lose until the last competition. So there was always a feeling of, ‘Oh man, is this going to be when I’m going to get my next loss?’ You never want to wrestle like that, always being afraid of the loss. And I think having this loss and still allowing me to qualify for nationals, really gave me the motivation, going into this weekend, to lay it all out and try to redeem myself for that loss.”
Andrews will be joined by two Delaware Valley College teammates at nationals this weekend. Seniors Charlie Frankel (125 pounds) and Eric McCann (133 pounds) each won Metro Conference titles to earn automatic bids to La Crosse.