Wildcard allocation snub ends freshman’s season
It is hard to guess where freshman Tyson Dippery envisioned himself at the beginning of the season.
Dippery ended up losing his wrestle-off at 141 pounds and would have to wait for his opportunity to work his way into the starting lineup.
Luckily for Dippery, it was a long season for the Rutgers wrestling team.
After coming in first place Nov. 17 at the East Stroudsburg Open, Dippery earned his chance at the starting lineup Nov. 22 against Clarion.
Since then — when he earned a 7-3 decision — the Harrisburg, Pa., native cemented himself in the dual-meet lineup and compiled a season record of 21-11 entering the EIWA Championships.
Dippery entered as a six seed for the tournament.
After going 2-1 on the first day, earning a major decision and a win by fall, Dippery was in a good spot to win two matches and earned his way to Oklahoma City as a qualifier.
With a 20-4 tech fall early in the second day of consolations, Dippery needed just one more win to finish in the top five and earn an automatic qualification to the NCAAs.
After swapping takedowns and escapes with ninth-seeded Tyler Scotton of Boston University, Dippery attacked and tried to earn a takedown that would at least give him fourth place.
After losing the decision, 5-4, to Scotton, second-seeded Mike Nevinger of Cornell ended Dippery’s automatic qualification chances with a pin fall in the first period.
Dippery would not have to wait nearly as long as he did for his first start to find out whether he earned an at-large selection after finishing in sixth place.
The news came yesterday that Dippery was not selected as an at-large bid for the NCAAs.
The freshman took it hard after finishing a strong season.
“It sucks that I’m not going to Nationals,” Dippery said, disappointed after finding out his fate a few hours earlier. “It’s hard because this finish is not what I worked for every day and throughout my life.”
Not only did Dippery believe he would make it to the tournament, but head coach Scott Goodale agreed that he deserved the chance.
“He had a good freshman year and I thought he should have qualified by himself and shouldn’t have been in this position,” Goodale said. “He didn’t have a great tournament, but had the opportunity to win and didn’t. I’m disappointed he isn’t going to nationals when he is good enough to be there.”
The snub can only serve as motivation for the 19-year-old Dippery, who still has three years left in his collegiate career to make it to the tournament and prove he deserves to be there.
While he is upset with not making it to the tournament, Dippery thinks it will motivate him that much more as he already begins to train for next season.
“I’m going to remember this feeling and how much it sucks not being where I want to be,” Dippery said. “That will drive me right there because I don’t want to have this disappointing feeling and experience again.”
For updates on the Rutgers wrestling team, follow Tyler Karalewich on Twitter @TylerKaralewich. For general Rutgers sports updates, follow @TargumSports.