Sports

Bouncing back, Choate ’13 competes in Nationals

By
Assistant Sports Editor
Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cortlandt Choate’s ’13 season was all but over. He was coming off an injury that kept him sidelined for five weeks, he had dropped his first match in the NCAA-qualifying Eastern Championships and he was unseeded in the qualifier. The odds against him were huge, but the 133-pounder fought back and won his way into the consolation match, punching his ticket to Nationals in Omaha, Neb., last weekend.

Choate did not place at Nationals, but his fourth-place finish at Easterns made him the only wrestler from Brown to get a top-five finish and qualify for Nationals.

“I didn’t expect to be in the top five to be honest,” said Choate, who had to wrestle his way back in the consolation match after an initial loss.

“I didn’t want to lose the wrestle backs,” Choate said. “I knew I could win them.”

Choate won four straight matches in the consolation bracket to finish fourth, the best finish on the team.

“I was very excited when I qualified,” Choate said. “I wanted to win a few matches at Nationals too.”

Choate was one of 24 freshmen out of 320 athletes at Nationals. He was the unseeded underdog again, facing stiff competition from the top wrestlers in the country.

“I think of them as no different as any other match,” Choate said.

In the first round, Choate faced No. 10 Nicholas Fanthorpe of Iowa State. The match was lopsided in favor of Fanthorpe, who won by major decision, 14-3.

After being dropped into the consolation bracket, Choate found himself in the same situation as in Easterns, and he could not afford to lose any more matches. In his first-round consolation match, he faced Ben Ashmore of Arizona State. Choate led at the end of the first period, 2-1, but gave two points away late in the second period and eventually lost the match, 5-2.

“I thought about that match for a while afterwards,” Choate said.

Head Coach Dave Amato said the experience will help Choate to see “what it takes to wrestle at the Nationals level.”

“It’s a big motivation,” Choate said. “Now I want to make it back there next year.”
Choate, like many of his teammates, had his share of injuries this season. He missed almost five weeks during January and February, according to Amato.

“Five weeks is a lot for a freshman to miss,” Amato said. “To be able to come back and qualify for the Nationals is a great accomplishment in itself.”

Despite the injuries, the team wrapped up the season on a good note.

Though only two of the 10 Brown wrestlers were seeded in the top eight for the Easterns on March 6 and 7, many of the wrestlers staged upsets, and seven of them finished in the top eight.

“We had our ups and downs,” Amato said. “But the guys stayed positive and worked hard, and I always say if you work hard, good things will happen.”

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