Budd, Lightner at NCAA D-II Wrestling Championships



Nick Budd (Gannon University)


Karl Lightner (Shippensburg University)


A trio of college wrestlers with local connections will be in St. Louis, Missouri this week for the NCAA Division II National Championships on Mar. 13-14: Port Allegany sophomore heavyweight Nick Budd (Gannon), Smethport 133-pound sophomore Karl Lightner (Shippensburg), and Budd’s Golden Knights teammate Zack Zelcs from Ridgway, a 174-pound senior making his fourth straight trip to nationals.

Budd (25-11), the Gannon team leader in wins and pins, placed second at at the Super Region One championships at West Liberty University on Feb. 27-28, dropping a 7-2 decision to the top-ranked D-2 heavyweight in the country, Kutztown’s Ziad Haddad, in the championship match.

Lightner (16-8), the son of 1984 PAHS grad and Smethport teacher/coach Christine Lightner, and Zelcs (10-2) each took third to move on.

NCAA DII Wrestling Championships
Brackets (.pdf download)

Dusting off the blog for PIAA wrestling news from Hershey…

The guys manning the credential desk at the Giant Center think we brought this morning’s snowstorm with us from upstate, and asked me to take it home with me….

Early results from our part of District 9:
Bad matchup for Port Allegany’s Casey Vollmer in his 113-pound prelim. SE-6 seed Caleb Holley (Boiling Springs, 26-18) jumped out to a 5-0 lead with a near-fall in the first period, extended it to 8-0 in the second, then got the pin at 4:32. Vollmer (27-6) will now face the loser of the match between NE-1 Cameron Newman (D-4 Line Mountain, 38-2) and SE-4 Willy Girard (D-11 Williams Valley, 31-6), who won his prelim 9-0 to advance into the first round.
Vollmer is 11th in Class AA in the latest Off The Mat statewide rankings. Newman is the top-ranked 113-pounder; Girard is 12th.

Smethport’s Adam Shunk (26-7) also lost his prelim — 3-1 on a takedown in OT — to drop into the wrestlebacks at 138. There, he’ll see either NE-1 Collin Edsell (D-4 Wyalusing, 41-5) or SW-4 Dalton Clark (D-6 Ligonier Valley, 36-7), who tech-falled Ali Capobianco 18-3 in the prelims. Edsell’s ranked fifth in the state, just behind Curwensville D-9 champ Shae Bloom.

Ridgway’s Ryan Geyer (25-7) didn’t waste much time moving on, pinning Burrell’s Robert Scherer in 0:24 seconds. He’ll face SE-1 Alek Hummel (D-11 N. Schuylkill, 42-1), the No. 8 195-pounder in Class AA, in the first round.

Next up, in the first round:
At 145, NW-1 James Duffy (Smethport, 33-1) will get SE-5 Colby Stroup (D-3 Newport, 32-8). Duffy is ranked seventh.
At 220, NW-3 Ethan Budd (Port Allegany, 31-1) will face Tri-Valley freshman Dan Scheib (D-11, 32-11), the SE-2 seed. Budd is ranked sixth, Scheib 12th.
At 285, NW-1 Jack Karsten (Cameron County, 33-1) gets SE-4 Nathan Gadinski (D-11 North Schuylkill, 41-4), who won his prelim 3-0. Karsten is fifth, Gadinski 14th.


EscapeSports.com PIAA Class AA results
PIAA.org Individual Wrestling Championships home page
Off The Mat Class AA rankings (.pdf)

Budd signs NLI to wrestle at Gannon

Lori Chase
May 16, 2013

Last winter, Nick Budd was among several Port Allegany wrestlers who made a trip to Erie to watch former Gator teammate Adam Greenman compete for Gannon University.

Next year, Budd will be joining him.

After a glittering high school career that included All-State honors in both football and wrestling, leaving him with several collegiate options in both sports, the PIAA 285-pound silver medalist has signed a National Letter of Intent with the Golden Knights to continue his career on the mat.

“Up until I placed (at states), I was very up in the air about it. I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to do,” he said. “And then after placing second, it kind of made up my mind for me as far as going to school and wanting to wrestle while I was there.”

Budd hit it off immediately with veteran Gannon head coach Don Henry on his visit.

“He’s an extremely nice guy, great personality, very friendly. Definitely one of the factors in wanting to go there,” he said. “I heard from several schools, had several different offers. But it came down to Gannon – it was close to home, and like I said, the coaching staff was really nice.”

After that initial meeting, Henry – a three-time NCAA Division II Super Regional One Coach of the Year with a strong history of mentoring All-Americans both on the mat and in the classroom – kept a close eye on the 6-foot-3, 250-pound senior, and was “really excited” when he decided to become a Golden Knight.

“I didn’t really know how good he was going to be this year, but I knew he was a big guy and we were going to be looking for a heavyweight. So he got on the radar there, and obviously when he did so well during the season and at states, that really sparked our interest,” he said.

“He’s going to come in with a chip on his shoulder because the last match that he wrestled in high school was a loss. That makes him a dangerous person; he’s got more to prove. A lot of the guys that we have are wrestlers of that same attitude: They come into college, they have something to prove. They didn’t accomplish everything they wanted to at the high school level. That’s what makes them better. They have more drive than the guys that had the higher accolades to start.”

Port Allegany head coach B.J. Greenman, Adam’s older brother, had already seen that intensity in Budd.

“He was actually the first kid I worked with when I got back from college in 2009, which was his freshman year. He was off with an injury from football and couldn’t wrestle at the beginning of the season, so we basically just lifted every day. I got to really know Nick and to see his work ethic,” Greenman said. “He wasn’t going to let his injury hold him back, and it didn’t. And it carried on throughout his career – he was in the weight room every single night the whole summer, going to wrestle every day. I think that’s what you need to be able to wrestle at the next level; he saw that at an early age, and it definitely paid off for him.

“He was back in the weight room the Monday after states. Coach Henry’s definitely lucky to be getting him.”

Nick, the son of Greg and Melynda Budd, began wrestling in the Junior Olympic program when he was nine, with his father helping to coach him ever since. A three-time Big 30 All-Star whose 100th victory came in his PIAA-qualifying third-place win at the Northwest Regional, he finished his career with a 103-22 record. Also a two-time All-State selection and Big 30 All-Star in football and the 2012 recipient of the Olean Times Herald ‘Unsung Lineman Award’ for the back-to-back District 9 champs, Budd plans to major in mechanical engineering, which may have worked in Gannon’s favor when he made his decision.

“He’s a bright kid. He wanted to go to school for engineering, and there really aren’t a lot of schools that have wrestling and engineering that you can concentrate on both unless he was going to go Ivy League or Division I,” Henry said. “I was more worried about him playing football than other schools taking him for wrestling.”

Henry – the only coach Gannon has known since he was hired to restart the Golden Knights’ wrestling program in 1984 – expects Budd to contribute right away.

“He should be the man. I recruited him to be the starter,” he said, noting that due to injuries at that weight class last season, “We had to go out and get a quality heavyweight that can make an immediate impact.”

One of Gannon’s most successful alumni, three-time All-American heavyweight Todd Proper, will be part of that process.

“Todd was there to meet Nick when he came for the visit, and said, ‘Hey, I want to make you our next outstanding heavyweight,’” Henry said. “And it was the truth – we want to get him to the point where he’s going to be an All-American, where he’s going to be challenging for a national championship eventually. He needs to have good workout partners; he needs to have big guys to work out with.

“We say that steel sharpens steel. We want him to be challenged. Todd Proper is about 320 right now, so if Nick can push him around, he’s not going to have too much trouble pushing someone around that’s 285.”

Coach Greenman, not that far removed from his own collegiate career, believes the future is bright for Budd.

“I think there’ll be that learning curve – it’s a huge change in style and intensity. So I think he might take some lumps his freshman year,” he said. “But his body frame is ideal for a heavyweight in college. He’s athletic. He’s stronger than anybody I’ve ever wrestled with in my life, even including our heavyweight in college. So I think once he gets used to the style of wrestling and the intensity, he’s limitless. I think he has the ability to be an All-American, and I really hope to be able to go to D-II nationals and watch him, and maybe even watch my brother wrestle at the same time.”

Gannon recently joined the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, where they compete against fellow Division II schools Mercyhurst, Kutztown, Shippensburg, East Stroudsburg, and Millersville and also get to see the D-I programs at Bloomsburg, Edinboro, Clarion, and Lock Haven.

The PSAC has a long and proud history in the sport, typically placing schools in the Top 20 rankings in both divisions and sending multiple wrestlers to nationals. Ridgway’s Zach Zelcs was one of those qualifiers this season, placing eighth at the D-II finals to become Gannon’s 22nd All-American under Henry.

Budd is looking forward to becoming part of that tradition.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to go wrestle at the next level. When I was little, wrestling J.O.’s, I always thought it would be a great experience. I’d see all the different names in college wrestling, and I always wanted to be one of those guys. So I’m really excited to go try it.”

AMWL: Gator matmen back on top

The Allegheny Mountain Wrestling League championship banner in the Port Allegany gym is about to get a little more crowded.

The Gators (17-5, 7-0 AML) dropped an undermanned Bradford squad, 72-4, on Feb. 5 to clinch their 13th league title via tiebreaker over Smethport, with a chance to win it outright and run the table in the AML by beating Oswayo Valley on Tuesday (in a match which ended too late for this edition).

“It’s a great feeling (to win the league),” second-year Port head coach B.J. Greenman said. “I think it’s a goal of Port every season, no matter what the beginning of the season looks like. Last year, we came up short; we lost a close match to Kane and lost to Smethport, and ended up taking third. But I think it’s almost what’s expected – if you coach in Port and for the kids who go to Port, they expect to win the AML. No matter what the circumstances, that’s just kind of what’s expected and what the kids strive for.

“It’s good to get back on top and back to winning decisively like we have this year. I think that’s a great feeling for the kids to have, especially going into districts. It’s a good feeling knowing you’re on top of your league going into the postseason.”

The Owls sent just five wrestlers onto the mat, handing Port nine forfeits, and managed just one win in the five contested bouts.

“It’s really tough to see Bradford only having five kids,” Greenman said. “It’s kind of hard for me to even believe that a Triple-A school only has five kids on their team.”

For Port, Nick Budd ran his perfect record to 25-0 with a first-period fall in the 285-pound match. Six other Gator seniors also won in their final appearance on the PAHS mat, with Alex Gular (23-3) picking up another pin, Sam Kysor (22-5) and Trent Neal (14-13) earning decisions, and Dalton Caden (25-4), Lucas Manning (18-9), and Logan Warnick (14-8) winning via forfeit.

Following the trip to Shinglehouse, the Gators will have a short break before heading to Clarion University on February 22-23 for the District 9 individual championships.

After falling just two points shy of a trip to states in the team competition, Greenman sees good things ahead for his wrestlers.

“We lost two real, real close matches (at districts)”, he said. “If we wrestle Redbank 10 times, I think we win five of those matches. I think it’s a 50-50 shot on who wins that match every time. Brookville, our kids wrestled really well and we were right there in a close match with them as well. So we’re right there with the teams that go to states. They both had some bad luck when they got down to states, but they were still both in the top eight teams in the state even if they may not have placed this year. They’re up there talent-wise, so it’s good for our kids to see that we’re right there with some good teams.

“That’s what we told the kids that lost the close matches – hey, you get another shot at them down at districts, and that actually means more then. It’s always good to help out the team and have the team go to states, but the main reason why a lot of kids wrestle is to get to that state level in the individual.

So it was good to see some good matches. The ones where we didn’t come out on top, we’re planning on coming out on top when we wrestle them down at districts, and the ones we did win, we’re planning to win again when we get down there. There’s some good competition, and it’s good seeing guys that you don’t see normally throughout the season.”

At Port Allegany, Feb. 5:
Port Allegany 72, Bradford 4
106: Casey Vollmer (PA) forfeit; 113: Dylan Baumgarner (PA) forfeit; 120: Dalton Caden (PA) forfeit; 126: Hunter Freer (PA) forfeit; 132: Lucas Manning (PA) forfeit; 138: Eli Knapp (PA) forfeit; 145: Mac Tanner (PA) forfeit; 152: Sam Kysor (PA) 4-0 Josh Corignani (B); 160: Logan Warnick (PA) forfeit; 170: Alexander Gular (PA) 3:32 Matt Moonan (B); 182: Bryce Stahlman (PA) forfeit; 195: Kyle Langdon (B) 13-2 Ethan Budd (PA); 220: Trent Neal (PA) 10-6 Zach Zawatski (B); 285: Nick Budd (PA) 1:56 Steve Zawatski (B).

Iorfido Wrestling Camp not just takedowns and reversals

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
June 30, 2011

Outside Port Allegany High School last week, it was a typical early-summer day, with kids splashing in the pool or lounging in the sun. Inside, it was a different story, with dozens of wrestlers and coaches sweating in the Gator gyms on the second day of the Bruno Iorfido Wrestling Camp.

But while the young wrestlers were there to work, there was plenty of laughter, too. The week-long camp is a learning experience, but it’s also a bonding and team-building exercise.

And perhaps most importantly, it’s to honor the memory of a fallen friend by carrying on his legacy.

When Sean Lathrop, Isaac Greeley, and some of their friends started a wrestling camp in Port Allegany in the late 1990’s, Iorfido, a four-time District 9 champ and two-time state placewinner from Ridgway who would go on to become a three-time NCAA Division II Academic All-American at Pitt-Johnstown and finish eighth at the 2003 national championships, was one of the local wrestlers who volunteered his time to teach.

So when Iorfido was killed in a car accident in July 2003, those friends decided to rename the camp and award scholarships in his memory. The flyer advertising this year’s camp reads in part – above a long list of former state and NCAA medalists, with more than a few champions included, scheduled to attend – “Bruno was an All-American both on the mat and in the classroom and epitomized what a young wrestler should strive to become. We are honored to have this non-profit camp in Bruno’s name and will continue to award $1000 scholarships to dedicated college wrestlers that emulate the same kind of character and drive.”

“The biggest thing we want to do is make sure at the end of the week, these kids know who Bruno was,” Greeley said. “He did everything right on the mat, worked hard in the classroom, prayed every night, did anything you ever asked him, and he looked you in the eye when he talked to you. Even if one or two kids can pick up that message, maybe incorporate that into their life, that’s kind of our goal, our premise of being here, I believe.”

Aaron Rendos added, “Going off what Isaac said, I wrestled with Bruno – he was actually my college roommate for two years – and he hit on every single point: good kid, stayed on track. Focused. That describes him in one word. I moved up here after I graduated and was the coach at Port Allegany for four years, and you won’t see another kid like Bruno. Kids aren’t built that way these days. He was one of a kind. Hopefully we can get these kids to pick something up, especially working through his eyes, working the way he would have. Special people don’t come along too often, but he was definitely one of those special people.”

The camp, which started at the elementary school with 20 participants, enrolled close to 100 this year, a milestone Lathrop expects to surpass next summer. Clarion High School coach Rob Sintobin – an NCAA All-American at Clarion University – has bought into what’s happening in Port Allegany, even calling the coach at his old high school in northwestern Ohio to talk him into making the 12-hour round trip with close to a dozen of his wrestlers.

“It’s been great. Everyone treats us really well,” Sintobin said. “I’ve never been treated this well anywhere, by the community and the people running the camps. It’s great for building the sport. For a hundred bucks, the kids are getting an unbelievable amount of wrestling and team-building. Just a week together of good, solid time together for everybody. I wish we could get more up here. It’s been fantastic. We love it.”

He continued, “Sometimes when you live in a small rural town where it’s a little bit sleepy sometimes – like a Clarion, or really any of the towns up in this part of Pennsylvania – to see that somebody can go to a big-name school and be part of a big-name program, be part of a UPJ or a Clarion or an Edinboro or even Penn State like Dirk Cowburn. Not only go there, but be successful there – be All-Americans and be national champions and be from places like this – it’s huge. We want our kids to see that, and know that that exists, it’s out there, it can be done by kids from little towns. It always seems like it’s somebody from somewhere else, but those kids come from these places too. So we want to give our kids that opportunity, and I think this camp opens the door for an opportunity like that. It shows our kids those things are possible.”

“I think Rob hit the nail on the head,” Greeley said. “It’s about offering kids that might not be given opportunities any other way an opportunity to be in front of great coaches, train alongside college wrestlers. We brought our team up, brought 16 kids up from Burrell in the Pittsburgh area. I think for the surrounding area, it’s just such an opportunity for young kids for the price – they’re normally going to pay three or four hundred dollars for a camp, easy – they can come to a camp for a hundred dollars. That’s just part of it, but it makes it affordable.”

With most of the clinicians working for free or minimal travel costs – “They’re doing it because they know who Bruno was,” Greeley said – and donations of food and lodging from the local community, the lion’s share of the registration fees goes directly toward the scholarships.

Jon Marc Burdick, a 2009 Smethport grad now wrestling at Division I Edinboro, was one of the recipients.

“It meant a lot, because I’ve known Bruno’s family,” he said. “I’ve heard a lot about Bruno. I never really got to know him, but I know a lot of his friends, his coaches, his family. Just to see how he was – with wrestling, and just living – it meant a lot that I could receive that on behalf of him.

“I was probably 13 when I started coming here, and I’m 20 now, so I’ve been coming for a good period of time. I know it’s helped me out a lot. It’s not an expensive camp, it’s just to help out people go to college, help out kids around here, just to make our area better, and no one’s making a profit off it. It’s just a way to help our area, help our local towns, whoever wants to get better. And the amount of talent that’s in both the rooms here is comparable to any college training camp you’d go to. It’s amazing what we can have here. Compare it to the Iowa or Penn State campus, and we have it in Port Allegany.”

“This is basically a summary of the whole thing,” Greeley concluded. “We’re a family – we’re basically all here for Bruno – and the family seems to be growing pretty steady. It seems like we attract the same type of people: Good people, honest people who work hard and love the sport of wrestling. That’s the kind of people we want to have here, and I think we can keep this going for a long time.”

PIAA Championships: A Giant challenge for AML matmen

Port Allegany's Chet Tanner wraps up opponent Drew Jackson late in their consolation-round match during the PIAA Class AA State Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey. Tanner would go on to score a 4-1 decision in the bout. (Photo by Lee Chase)

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
March 17, 2011

With six returning PIAA placewinners in the 16-man Class AA 130-pound weight class at last weekend’s state championships – four in Chet Tanner’s half of the bracket – the Port Allegany senior knew he’d be in for a battle just to make it to the podium.

“It’s rough,” Tanner said. “You’ve got to take these kids one match at a time, because they’re all just as good as you are.”

The five Allegheny Mountain League wrestlers making the trip to the Giant Center in Hershey were reminded of that in Thursday morning’s preliminaries, with only Bradford senior Mark Havers, wrestling in the AAA 152-pound weight class, avoiding the consolation bracket with a first-round win.

So, after dropping a 7-0 decision to Montoursville’s David Batkowski, Tanner knew the stakes when he walked onto Mat 2 against Drew Jackson, the Southeast Region’s No. 4 seed, that afternoon.
Continue reading “PIAA Championships: A Giant challenge for AML matmen”

Live from Hershey: Day 2

Good morning from the Giant Center, where Brockway’s Joel Yahner, the lone District 9 Class AA wrestler still alive in the championship bracket, advanced with a 3-0 win over Corey Garry (Fort Cherry). He’ll face defending 285-pound champ John Rizzo (Richland) in this evening’s semifinals, slated to begin at 6:30 p.m.

On to the second round of consis, where Chet Tanner’s next opponent is Arty Walsh (34-6) from Schuylkill Valley in District 3, who lost an 11-2 decision to Coltin Fought in this morning’s quarterfinal round. Walsh will be a tough out: he won the 112-pound state championship in 2009 as a freshman at Wyomissing before transferring first to Juniata, then to his current school.

Corey Bush (Ridgway), the 119-pound D-9 champ, is on Mat 2 right now. Choosing the up position to begin the second period, he put Claysburg-Kimmel’s James Dodson on his back for a moment, and leads 2-0 after two. More back points in the third, and Bush has this one well under control, moving on to the third round with an 8-1 win.

At 125, Jesse Wolfe (Johnsonburg) takes his match against Jaydon Rice to OT, but the Bethlehem Catholic wrestler gets the takedown and the 6-2 win.

UPDATE: Tough out indeed. Walsh is lightning-quick. Already up 4-1 at the beginning of the second period, he turns one of Tanner’s shots into a takedown and near-fall of his own. Twelve seconds into the third, it’s over, as a reversal gives the Schuylkill Valley wrestler an 18-3 TF. Tanner ends his senior year with a 39-6 record, and it’s time to make the long drive north.

Live from Hershey: Day 1

There’s some good wrestling in District 9, but once you get to the state championships in Hershey, it’s a whole different ballgame. Thursday morning’s Class AA preliminaries proved that, as Big 30-area matmen went 0-5 in their opening-round matches. They’ll wrestle in the first consolation round early this afternoon, with Class AAA — and Bradford’s Mark Havers, the only area wrestler still alive for a state title — following them onto the mat at 4 p.m.

103: Matt Welliver (Benton, 19-9) pinned Trent Neely (Smethport, 26-5), 5:16
112: Jamie Welsh (Pen Argyl, 34-9) d Nate Schwab (Smethport, 28-4), 8-4
119: Nate Giorgio (Schuylkill Valley, 40-4) pinned Corey Bush (Ridgway, 34-4) 2:50
125: Ben Rager (Central Cambria, 34-1) d Jesse Wolfe (Johnsonburg, 31-4), 2-1
130: David Batkowski d Chet Tanner (Port Allegany, 38-5) 7-0

First-round consis (12:15 p.m.):
103: Neely vs. Bryan Israel (Saucon Valley, 32-5)
112: Schwab vs. Nathan Reckner (South Side Beaver, 35-7)
119: Bush vs. Trevor Hernandez (Biglerville, 39-11)
125: Wolfe vs. Paul Sloand (Saucon Valley, 27-15)
130: Tanner vs. Drew Jackson (Pequea Valley, 37-13)

For brackets updated at the end of each match, visit the PIAA website.

UPDATE: The locals fared better in the afternoon, with three out of five winning their first-round consi matches. Port’s Chet Tanner scored a takedown in the final second of the first period, added another in the third, then held on to post a 4-1 win over Drew Jackson (Pequea Valley, 37-14). Elk County entrants Bush and Wolfe are also still alive, with just the two Smethport wrestlers going two-and-out.

First-round consis:
103: Bryan Israel (Saucon Valley, 33-5) pinned Neely (Smethport, 26-6), 4:33
112: Nathan Reckner (South Side Beaver, 36-7) d Schwab (Smethport, 28-5), 10-2
119: Bush (Ridgway, 35-4) d Trevor Hernandez (Biglerville, 39-12), 3-0
125: Wolfe (Johnsonburg, 32-4) d Paul Sloand (Saucon Valley, 27-16), 4-1
130: Tanner (39-5) d Drew Jackson (Pequea Valley, 37-14), 4-1

Second-round consis start tomorrow morning at 9:45. See you then.

Wrestling: Tanner moves on to states

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
March 10, 2011

Following Chet Tanner’s third-place finish at the District IX Wrestling Championships, his goal for last weekend’s Northwest Regional was clear: “Take care of business.”

By the time the Port Allegany senior walked off the mat in Sharon with a 15-0 technical fall over Taylor Ellis (Conneaut Lake) in the 130-pound semifinals, he knew he could go ahead and book another business trip.

Tanner (38-4) couldn’t solve two-time state placewinner Dylan D’Urso (42-5) in the championship match, as the Reynolds junior captured his third straight Northwest crown with a 12-0 major decision. However, Tanner’s second-place finish made him one of just five Big 30-area wrestlers in Class AA to earn a trip to Hershey for this weekend’s PIAA Championships, with Smethport lightweights Trent Neely (2nd-103) and Nate Schwab (2nd-112), Ridgway’s Corey Bush (3rd-119), and Johnsonburg’s Jesse Wolfe (3rd-125) also advancing by virtue of their top-three standing.
Continue reading “Wrestling: Tanner moves on to states”

Gular walks away with D-9 mat title; Gators finish third

Eight PAHS wrestlers qualify for next weekend’s Northwest Regional in Sharon

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
March 3, 2011

At Saturday night’s District IX Wrestling Championships in Clarion, Port Allegany’s Alex Gular was leading 2-1 in the 152-pound title match when suddenly, he appeared to be distracted by something. As Gular turned his head, his opponent, Redbank Valley’s Cole Shirey, sensed an opportunity and attacked.

Which was exactly what Gular was waiting for. Continue reading “Gular walks away with D-9 mat title; Gators finish third”