It is over. Finished. Final.
Geoffrey Alexander's season is over after falling 10-8 in sudden victory overtime in his first match of the day. His career at Maryland? Finished. The outcome? Final.
Over. Finished. Final.
Alexander, the 14th seed at 133 pounds, donned his Maryland singlet for the last time against unseeded Jamal Morris of NC State.
The match did not start well. Alexander gave up a takedown when Morris hit a knee pick in the first 15 seconds. He fought back to recapture the lead 3-2, but gave up an escape and another takedown. After an escape of his own, Alexander went to the second period trailing 5-4.
Alexander tied the match with a quick escape to start the second period. He added a takedown to take a 7-5 lead, but Morris escaped. Perhaps the key sequence in the match unfolded at the end of the second period. Morris had put him in a front headlock position. Morris faked one way and shucked, causing Alexander to fall down because his momentum was headed downwards. Morris pounced, scoring a takedown on the edge of the mat with just 10 seconds left in the second period. Those points would be crucial.
Alexander fought back in the third period, riding Morris out, locking up the riding time point and sending the match into sudden victory overtime. Morris was aggressive and got in on a deep single leg shot. He finished through the middle, took his time, hooked one of Alexander's legs and pushed the other leg to the side. Morris then slowly rotated his hips and was awarded the takedown.
"It was a tough match," head coach Kerry McCoy said after Alexander was eliminated. "He wrestled well and just got beat." When asked how Alexander would be remembered despite not finishing as an All-American, McCoy lauded his senior captain. "He's a warrior. He's been a warrior ever since he stepped foot on campus...Even though he didn't reach all of the milestones or the goals that were laid out, he can look back and say that he had a pretty good career...He's got a lot to be proud of...He knows that he left it all on the mat.
McCoy explained how Alexander was a role model and a positive influence on this team and on this program. "He really showed that if you make the commitment and you do what's asked of you, you can have success. He really set the standard of how to work hard in the wrestling room...A lot of guys looked up to him."
Alexander finished 1-2 at the NCAA Championships. He was seeded 14th, but he was a legitimate threat to get on the podium and earn All-American honors. Alexander's performance at the NCAA Wrestling Championships was a microcosm of Maryland wrestling's season as a whole. The effort was certainly there, but the results were disappointing.
Maryland will finish the NCAA Wrestling Championships with a final score of 1.0. That score, as of Friday afternoon, puts the Terrapins in 64th place...out of 72 teams.
The incremental progress that was visible throughout the season has now been draped in disappointment. Maryland wrestling's season is over.