BERLIN- Former Stephen Decatur wrestling standout Dan Miller, now a senior at the U.S. Naval Academy, last weekend won the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) championship in the heavyweight division and will now compete in the NCAA Division I championship meet.
Miller, who won three straight state championships at Decatur, entered the EIWA meet last weekend in Piscataway, N.J. as the fourth seed in the heavyweight division and knocked off a couple of the higher seeds ahead of him on the way to the championship. Miller upset number-one seed Billy Smith of Rutgers in the semifinals last Friday to reach the championship bout.
In the final, Miller took on second-seeded Blake Herrin of American University on Saturday with a chance to avenge a regular season loss. After a scoreless first period, Herrin took a one-point lead in the second and held the advantage until late in the third period. With just 25 seconds left, Miller earned an escape to send the match into “sudden victory.” After neither wrestler was able to gain an advantage in the first overtime period, the match was sent to a tiebreaker and Miller prevailed to take the championship.
Miller’s championship was one of nine place winners for Navy in the EIWA tournament. Six of the 10 Navy wrestlers finished in the top five in their respective weight classes and each, including Miller, advanced to the 2013 NCAA Division I championships in Des Moines, Iowa on March 21-23.