California Baptist University was represented by 10 wrestlers Feb. 26 at the NCAA Division II Super West Championships in Gunnison, Colorado.
Lennie Zalesky, head coach of the team, prepared his athletes after winning the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference title. The team won first place out of 14 other teams with 112.5 points.
Zalesky expressed mixed emotions in the outcome since five out of 10 members of his representatives in the regional tournament have been qualified for the NCAA Championships.
The athletes who are headed to nationals include Brady Bersano, redshirt senior marketing major; Jacob Waste, junior criminal justice major; Joseph Fagiano, graduate student in business administration; Nolan Kistler, sophomore criminal justice major, and Paul Head, redshirt junior kinesiology major.
“There are a couple of guys who could have made the championships if they had a good tournament,” Zalesky said. “They were capable of competing in regionals.”
Zalesky said the representatives of CBU in the NCAA tournament are capable of competing in a national tournament.
“All of these guys could place high in the national tournament,” Zalesky said.
Bersano said he feels good about wrestling in the regionals.
“My performance and my team’s performance was good,” Bersano said. “Five wrestlers made the NCAA tournament. That’s really good because two wrestlers made last year’s tournament.”
Bersano also said he has a different strategy about the championships.
“Being an All-American (wrestler), I get a shot at the title,” Bersano said. “If all goes well, I could be National Champion.”
The five are now preparing for the NCAA tournament.