March 22, 1998
Cleveland - The Michigan State University wrestling team finished in 13th place at the NCAA Championships Saturday, amassing 39.5 team points and crowning two All-America grapplers. Senior captain David Morgan finished second at 118 pounds, the third top-five finish of his career, while freshman Pat McNamara placed fifth at 126 pounds.
Morgan was pinned in the final match by Tegue Moore of Oklahoma State in 4:50. Prior to the final, Morgan had won four straight tournament matches, while giving up only three points in those four matches.
"I was still in the match," said Morgan. "I had a chance to win, but he just caught me there at the end."
"I am not going to dwell on it too much. There is nothing that I can do about it now. There are a lot of things in life that are going to be more important than this. I've had a great career here and, besides a title, there's not much more I could ask for."
"That was an unfortunate match for David," said MSU head coach Tom Minkel. "But David had one of the most incredible runs in Michigan State history, and in NCAA annals. We could'nt be more proud of him."
McNamara capped one of the most outstanding freshman seasons at MSU with a fifth-place showing, the highest finish by a Spartan freshman since Pat Milkovich won the 126-pound title in 1972.
He defeated ninth-seeded Jason Buce of Oregon State, 11-6, in the fifth-place match, and will be the lone returning All-American for MSU next season.
Iowa claimed its fourth consecutive team championship, and seventh out of the last eight, with 115 points, followed by Minnesota (102) and Oklahoma State (99.5). And while the Spartans finished further down the standings, Minkel considered this a successful tournament for his six qualifiers.
"With a young team, one that is just developing, I think all-in-all this was a very good effort by our kids. I am very pleased."