In 2019, Eric Hutchinson's season of great expectations was prematurely ended by a knee injury.
In 2020, another season of high hopes was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.
This year, however, the York College wrestling standout will have at least one rather sizable consolation. He'll be remembered as an NCAA Division III All-American.
The redshirt sophomore was named a D-III third-team A-A selection by the National Wrestling Coaches Association on Tuesday.
Each year, the NWCA recognizes D-III wrestlers by naming All-Americans based on their achievements at the national championships. Because of to the COVID-19 outbreak, the 2020 national championships were canceled. So, the NWCA made its A-A picks based on each wrestler's body of work at the regional tournaments leading up to nationals. The A-A teams were selected by panel of D-III coaches.
Hutchinson made an impressive comeback in 2019-20 from his injury-shortened 2018-2019 campaign, when he finished at 9-3. This season, he captured third at the NCAA D-III Southeast Regional Championships to qualify for nationals for the second time in his career. He achieved A-A status for the first time in his career.
Hutchinson established a new career-high wins mark with a 32-4 record. After wrestling the majority of his college career at 157 pounds, the Spartan co-captain dropped down to 149 two weeks before the regional tournament and posted a 6-1 record after making the change.
The supply chain management major had previously become a two-time NWCA D-III Scholar All-American in mid-March. Hutchinson reached the 30-win mark for the first time in his career and compiled a pair of first-place tournament finishes, including one at York's New Standard Corp Invitational.
He led York in wins, while also pacing the squad in team points (135.5), total bout points (365), major decisions (11), takedowns (88), near-fall points (38) and riding-time bonus points (13).
Hutchinson becomes the 28th different wrestler in program history to earn A-A status, with the total count of honorees improving to 35. Three different Spartans have combined for a total of six A-A honors in the past five seasons under head coach Duane Bastress.
Reach Steve Heiser at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information for this story was provided by York College.