SIUE's Devine competes at NCAA meet

News-DemocratMarch 25, 2014 

— Southern Illinois Edwardsville University senior David Devine saw his time as Cougar matman come to an end at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships came to an end at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Riding time proved to be the difference in his first round wrestle-back match against Bloomsburg's Justin Grant. Devine dropped a 5-4 decision at the buzzer to Grant, who collected his 31st victory of the season.

They competed in the heavyweight (285-pound) class.

"This is not the way David wanted to finish his career at SIUE," said SIUE coach Jeremy Spates.

Devine also was defeated in the first round of the Championships 12-4 by Penn State's Jonathan Gingrich, who was the 14th seed.

Devine completed his collegiate career with a 26-14 record his senior season. He led all SIUE wrestlers in wins this season and became the first wrestler in school history to advance to the NCAA Division I Championships since the Cougars made the leap to Division I status.

"He was a rock for us all season," said Spates. "We knew we count on our heavyweight to scrap for us all season. He's a conference champion and an NCAA qualifier. He did something special for the program. I'm pretty proud of him."

Devine, the heavyweight champion at the Southern Conference Championships, was among 33 entrants at his weight class.

Gingrich placed sixth at the Big Ten Championships.

This also is the first appearance at the national championships for Spates as a head coach. Spates said he first attended the national championships as a fan in 1992 and also has been there as a competitor and as an assistant coach.

"It's a different experience each time," said Spates.

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