Once Henry Stauber recovered from the nagging injuries that had plagued him throughout the season, the sophomore wrestler at Johns Hopkins University displayed his strength.
The John Jay-Cross River graduate won the 149-pound title, with a 5-4 triumph over C.J. Caserta of Stevens Tech at the Centennial Conference Wrestling Championships.
The title earned Stauber a berth in the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships, Friday and Saturday March 9 and 10 at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Stauber is one of four former Section 1 wrestlers competing in the National Championships. He will be joined by Springfields Joey Grippi (Fox Lane) and Derrick Longo (Ardsley) and Oneonta States Joe Hauser (Lakeland). Riders James Brundage (Ossining) will be wrestling the Division I National Championships.
Stauber will face fifth-seeded James Locke of Coe College in the first round.
During the regular season I was plagued by injuries which had me in and out of the lineup, said Stauber, a 2010 John Jay graduate and state place-finisher.
Stauber came into the conference championships feeling mentally and physically prepared.
I was little tentative the last month, because I felt I was wrestling to my opponents strengths instead of my own strengths, Stauber said. With the help of my coaches I pulled it all together and felt confident.
Stauber, seeded fourth, had a first-round pin, then decisioned top-seeded Connor McCormick of Ursinus, 3-1. Stauber atoned for a 5-0 loss to Caserta in the regular season. Trailing 2-0 going into the second period of the final, Stauber tilted Caserta for two backs points. Following a Caserta escape, a late takedown gave Stauber a 4-3 lead after two.
In our first match, he dictated and controlled match so I had to change that, Stauber said. He probably also had it in his mind that he was going to beat me. It was definitely exciting, but I was more excited that we won the conference.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.