UVU wrestler ends career as an All-American

The match couldn’t have gone any worse for Jade Rauser. He was trailing 5-0 heading into the third and final period. His opponent, No. 6 George DiCamillo of Virginia, also had a two-minute advantage in riding time.

Staring elimination in the face and the potential to come up short in his bid to achieve a life-long goal, Rauser came out in the third period on a mission. He got a takedown seconds into the period and followed that up by taking the lead with a four-point near fall.

The match appeared that it would go into overtime because although Rauser was leading 6-5, DiCamillo would earn a bonus point for riding time. Rauser wasn’t about to let that happen. The senior from Townsend, Montana earned another two points on a near fall as the period ended to win the match, 8-6 and become just the second All-American in UVU wrestling history.

“It is an exciting day,” Rauser said after defeating DiCamillo. “I thought I pinned him. I was pinning him. It was 6-5 with like ten seconds left and I didn’t know if I was winning or losing so I went for another tilt and got two more. And then when the whistle blew I saw my coaches jumping and I knew I did it.”

It wasn’t an easy road for Rauser. In his first match of the tournament, Rauser faced off against the No. 2 seed Cory Clark from Iowa. Clark earned a major decision win over Rauser on his way to becoming the runner-up in the 133-pound weight class. Rauser then found himself in the wrestle backs and it didn’t get any easier. But the UVU wrestler had one thing on his mind: getting on the podium.

“It’s always been the ultimate goal,” Rauser said. “I was telling my roommates, who were telling me that I needed to come back with that hardware, that I didn’t have a choice, that I have to.  That’s been the ultimate goal this whole time.”

Jade Rauser achieved his life-long goal of becoming an All-American by finishing eighth at the NCAA Wrestling Championships at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Photo by Brooke Morrill.
Jade Rauser achieved his life-long goal of becoming an All-American by finishing eighth at the NCAA Wrestling Championships at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Photo by Brooke Morrill.

He started his run to All-American status with major decision win over 18th-ranked Gary Wayne Harding of Oklahoma State. It was the second time in two weeks that Rauser defeated Harding as they met in the third place match at the Big 12 Championships. Rauser pinned Harding in that match to earn third place honors.

Coming into Friday, Rauser had to win three matches to earn All-American status. In the morning session Rauser defeated Nathan Kraisser of Campbell by major decision and then defeated No. 9 Mack McGuire of Kent State to set up the match with DiCamillo.

Despite losing the final two matches of his career to No. 7 Eric Montoya of Nebraska and to No. 8 Earl Hall of Iowa State, Rauser still achieved the goal he set out to when he came to UVU as a freshman.

“I’m excited that I was able to achieve my goal of becoming an All-American. I can’t believe that it’s already over,” Rauser said. “I knew that it was my last tournament so I decided to really give it my all and go for the gusto. I’m glad that the championships were here in New York City this year and it’s awesome that I was able to end my career competing at Madison Square Garden.”

“I couldn’t be more proud or excited for an individual,” said UVU head coach Greg Williams. “Jade has put five years of sweat and tears into trying to achieve this dream of his. I know he didn’t end those last two matches the way that he would’ve liked, but he came here to earn All-American status and he did just that. It was just an incredible journey.”

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