March 21, 2009
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Purdue senior Jake Patacsil earned fifth place at 149 pounds at the 2009 NCAA Wrestling Championships, hosted by the University of Missouri and the St. Louis Sports Commission at the Scottrade Center, leading the Boilermakers to a 23rd-place team finish. Purdue's team finish is its highest since 2006, and the second time in the last six years the Boilermakers have finished in the top-25.
Patacsil completed an amazing collegiate career on Saturday, finishing 120-41 for his career and ranking third on the Boilermakers' all-time wins list. His name is scattered across the Purdue record books, most notably setting the all-time back point record with 803. He owns the top-three single-season marks in school history, including a record 293 this year. Patacsil is also second all-time at Purdue with 51 career reversals, eighth all-time with 25 career falls and his 74.5% career winning percentage is 11th in school history. Other single-season achievements include the fourth-highest win total with 38 victories this season, the ninth-best fall total with 11 in 2007, and he matched the 14th-best reversal count with 15 this year.
"It's great to see Jake (Patacsil) finish his career appropriately, as an All-American," said Purdue head coach Scott Hinkel. "He's done great things here at Purdue, and has been an incredible contributor to our program."
Patacsil fell in the consolation semifinals to start the day, suffering a narrow 8-7 loss to fourth-seeded Lance Palmer of Ohio State. Palmer did all his work in the first period, scoring four takedowns en route to an 8-3 advantage. Patacsil rallied in the second with a takedown of his own to make it 8-5, but Palmer stalled his way through the final three minutes of the match to steal the win. The Buckeye was hit with a pair of stall warnings in the third period, moving the count to 8-6, but the official refused to call a third stall warning, despite the lack of effort from Palmer on the bottom. Patacsil's 3:13 of riding time added his final point of the match, but was not enough to close the gap.
He returned for his collegiate finale in the fifth-place match, facing seventh-seeded Bryce Saddoris of Navy. Patacsil avenged an early season loss, defeating Saddoris in sudden victory, 6-4, and earning fifth place and the team point that guaranteed the Boilermakers' top-25 championship finish. Saddoris led early, scoring takedowns in the first and second periods en route to a 4-2 advantage. Patacsil took the top position in the third and worked his tilt, evening the count at 4-4 and erasing Saddoris's riding time to force a sudden victory period. Saddoris forced the action in the overtime, taking an errant shot, and Patacsil made him pay as he funked his way out the back for the takedown and the win.
The Boilermakers have now finished in the top-25 at the NCAA Championships 23 times, including five times in the last 10 years, and nine times in the last 20 years. Hinkel is just the second coach in school history to guide his team to a top-25 national finish in just his second season, joining his predecessor Jessie Reyes. Purdue was one of 10 Big Ten teams to guarantee itself a top-25 placing before the championship finals, finishing just ahead of archrival Indiana (24.5-to-24), and Michigan State could enter a tie for 25th with a championship win at 133 pounds. The conference produced a championship-best 28 All-Americans, twice as many as the second-best conference, the Big 12.
"It was very gratifying to see our five guys come here and help us place in the top-25 in the country," said Hinkel. "We had five guys qualifying and they all contributed, winning matches and scoring bonus points. It was one of our early season goals to finish this way and it's great to see us beat out a few Big Ten schools and bounce back from a disappointing 10th-place finish at the conference championships.
"We've still got a long way to go," Hinkel continued. "We have nine of our 10 starters back next year, and Jake (Patacsil) is going to stick around and help coach. Our guys need to continue to build on this taste of success and national competition, and hopefully we'll continue to climb the ranks."
The Boilermakers will meet one last time this season, gathering on March 28 for their annual postseason banquet and presentation of team awards.