York Suburban High School graduate Ricardo Plummer has advanced to the semifinal round of the NCAA Division III wrestling tournament.
Plummer, a senior wrestling for Messiah College, won his opening and quarterfinal round bouts Friday to advance to Saturday morning's semifinal round in the 174-pound bracket.
By advancing to the semifinals, Plummer is guaranteed a top-six finish and also attained All-American status (top-eight grapplers in each weight class earn All-America honors). He is one of three Messiah grapplers to have advanced to the semifinal round.
Plummer is a 2010 York Suburban grad, having finished in fifth place of the 171-pound bracket that year at the PIAA Class AA state tournament.
A year ago, he qualified for the NCAA D-III tournament for the first time in his collegiate career. But he went 0-2 there to finish his junior season with a 28-12 individual record.
Plummer entered this weekend's national tournament as the No. 5 seed in the 174-pound bracket and sporting a 35-4 individual record. Two weeks ago he was the 174-pound champion at the NCAA D-III Mideast Regional tournament, which was held at York College.
Plummer won by a point Friday morning, 5-4, in his opening round bout at the national tournament, beating Cornell College's Brent Hamm. In the quarterfinal round Friday night Plummer defeated Cortland's Lou Puca, 9-6. One of Plummer's four losses this season came against Puca, when he lost by five points in the third-place match of the Roger Williams (R.I.) University Invitational back in November.
Plummer will next face top-seed Landon Williams (40-3) of Wartburg in Saturday morning's semifinal round. The winner advances to Saturday night's gold medal match while the loser will go to the fifth round of consolations.
Plummer is one of five Messiah grapplers competing in the national tournament, which is being held at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Ia. The Falcons have had just one national champion in its history, with Mike Helm accomplishing the feat back in 2000.
Four Messiah grapplers are still alive in the tournament heading into Saturday, with three of them having advanced to the semifinals and attaining All-America status.
Through Friday, Messiah sits second in total team points with 38, behind first-place Wartburg (56.5 points). Messiah has never finished in the top-eight in points standings at the national tournament.
Plummer, a Falcons' captain, has already helped Messiah make program history this season in many categories: being a top-five ranked team in the country, winning the Middle Atlantic Conference championship, the Mideast Regional championship and qualifying the most-ever wrestlers for the national tournament.
Messiah finished the regular season ranked No. 3 in the D-III by the NCAA and No. 4 by d3wrestle.com.
Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.