Jared Frayer, an Oklahoma junior and former standout at Countryside, missed out on his chance Friday to become the first wrestler from Pinellas County to win a Division
I national title with a loss in the semifinals of the NCAA tournament in Iowa City.
Wrestling in the 149-pound class, Frayer, a No.
8 seed, beat George Carter of Bloomsburg, John Mark Bentley of North Carolina and Mike Zadick of Iowa to advance to the semifinals.
His opponent in the semifinals was Lehigh's David Esposito, who eliminated Frayer from last season's tournament. Frayer was ahead 1-0 in the third period, but Esposito scored a reversal and a takedown en route to a 5-3 loss.
Despite the loss, Frayer, the son of Cougars wrestling coach Dave Frayer, is an automatic place-winner and will earn All-America status for the first time. Frayer also can take solace in knowing the two finalists in his weight class, Esposito and Adam Tirapelle of Illinois, are graduating.
_ BOB PUTNAM