Patriots Set for CAA Wrestling Championships

Posted: March 8, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The George Mason wrestling team heads into this weekend’s Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Championships as the defending champion, but head coach Brian Shaffer and his depleted team are taking a “Survivor” attitude into the fray.

George Mason is one of 12 teams competing for the 2002 CAA Championships at the James Madison University Convocation Center in Harrisonburg today and tomorrow. Competition begins at 10 a.m. each day. The CAA has 28 berths in the NCAA Championships (March 21-23 in Albany, N.Y.) on the line, as the top two wrestlers in each of the 10 weight classes will advance along with eight “wild card” selections.

The Patriots won their fifth CAA team championship in 10 seasons last March, setting school records for points scored (105.5), individual champions (six), and NCAA qualifiers (seven). But this is a new year with new obstacles, and the merger with the East Coast Wrestling Association to form a powerful 12-team alliance is just one of them. Add in the fact that only eight Patriots will compete (no entrants at 133 or 197 pounds) due to injuries and other factors, and it will be an uphill battle.

Sophomore Rob Becker and junior Adrian Austin lead the Patriots into the competition. Becker is 21-6 at 141 pounds and should is the No. 2 seed in his weight class, while Austin is 20-9 at 149 and should be seeded among the top six. Also expected to be seeded among the top six in his weight class are freshmen Aaron Suranofsky (12-6 at 125) and John Davis (10-12 at 184).

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