Anthony Ashnault took a spot as an All-American Friday night at the NCAA Championships with a strong showing at 141 pounds. Ashnault won a 3-2 match in his first showing of the evening to lock up an All-American spot.
"You can’t take away from him," said head coach Scott Goodale. "He’s had a great year and he’s an All-American. But certainly when you lose the one you want to come all the way back. That’s his goal and what he wanted to do and he was set on doing that. Right now emotions are a little bit like a roller coaster. We’re happy we have another All-American. It’s great to get it as a freshman – hard thing to do. He’s a special kid and he’s going to do some great things. I know there’s a much better tournament for him we’re just not going to be able to see it.”
Ashnault, however, suffered a leg injury in a loss next up against Dean Heil. The newly-crowned All-American did not speak after the injury, but Goodale offered the latest.
"I think Anthony is the third-best kid at the weight," Goodale said. "We felt good about where he was in the bracket and him coming back I was excited about it and boom. But that’s the sport – what are you going to do? It’s part of it and we have to see how he feels tomorrow, but right now it doesn’t look great.”
Ashnault is the second All-American is as many years for Rutgers, a historic mark for Goodale and the Scarlet Knights. He joins 2014 All-American Anthony Perrotti.
"That’s where this thing is going," Goodale said. "I don’t think as a team we wrestled great all week in but it’s good to get one and keep building on it. We’re going to keep building on it, we’re going to keep getting better kids and keep building on what we’re doing. We’ve got a good room right now with guys certainly capable. There’s guys back home certainly capable. The future is definitely exciting. But I’m in the moment right now thinking about Anthony and that’s kind of where I’m at."