ROANOKE, Va. - It was a tough day and an even tougher way to end his career, but Buena Vista University senior, Brad Kerkhoff, has alot to be proud of despite dropping a pair of lopsided matches on Friday during the first day of action at the NCAA DIII Tournament held inside of the Berglund Center.
Kerkhoff's day began against Mark Choinski of UW-Oshkosh, an opponent he had defeated 11-5 earlier this season at the Pete Willson Invite. Choinski, who was ranked #2 in the country when Kerkhoff defeated him in January, earned the match-up after deating sixth-seed Anthony Arroyo from Baldwin Wallace in the preliminary round.
It was a scorelss match until Choinski tossed Kerkhoff to his back with just over a minute left in the opening period and led 6-0. Kerkhoff worked to escape with 46 seconds left and then picked up a penalty point seconds later to make it 6-2. Choinski then countered every shot Kerkhoff tried to set up and would eventually record his second takedown of the match with six seconds left in the first and build an 8-2 lead. Kerkhoff escaped early in the second but Choinski again countered with another takedown and four-point nearfall to pull away. He then added two more takedowns and a point for riding time to hand Kerkoff a 19-5 defeat.
The senior hoped to advance into the second day as he took the mat for his consolation match in the evening sesssion, but he just couldn't slow down Nick Racanelli who recorded a takedown in the first 30 seconds and went on to add four, 4-point nearfalls in the period, for a 19-0 technical fall.
Kerkhoff ends the season at 27-11 and wraps up what has been a successful career with an overall career mark of 86-47.