A first for Ashland University athletics begins on Wednesday (March 9).
For the first time in AU history, all of its winter sports programs – women's basketball, men's basketball, wrestling, swimming and indoor track and field – will compete in the NCAA postseason at the same time.
- It starts on Wednesday, as senior Hannah Mattar competes in the first of three events (200-yard breaststroke and the 200 and 400 individual medleys) at the NCAA Division II Swimming & Diving Championships in Indianapolis, Ind.
Mattar will go in the 200 IM on Wednesday, the 400 IM on Thursday (March 10) and the 200 breaststroke on Saturday (March 12).
- On Friday (March 11), Ashland's women's basketball team (30-1) will play host to the Division II Midwest Regional. The No. 3-ranked Eagles will play Ursuline at 5 p.m. at Kates Gymnasium in the third of four quarterfinal games on Friday.
The semifinals will be on Saturday, and the title game will be Monday (March 14) at 7 p.m. The regional winner advances to the Division II Elite Eight in Sioux Falls, S.D., on March 22 and 23. The Division II national championship game is April 4 in Indianapolis, Ind.
- On Friday and Saturday, the No. 9-ranked AU wrestling team will have six grapplers go for national titles at the Division II Championships in Sioux Falls.
Senior Joe Brandt is ranked No. 2 in the country at 197 pounds, junior Brent Fickel is ranked eighth at 149 pounds, and going in unranked nationally are freshman Chandler Minnard (133), junior Bobby Mason (141), junior Jordan Murphy (174) and junior Brandon O'Neill (184).
- On Friday and Saturday, Ashland's 12th-ranked men's and women's indoor track and field teams will compete at D-II nationals in Pittsburg, Kan.
Eleven Eagles have earned entry into indoor nationals. On the men's side, junior Jason Zahn qualified for nationals in two events – the shot put and the weight throw. Also competing in the weight throw are juniors Bryn Campbell and Jordan Crayon, and sophomore Clayton Jury. Both sophomore Elijah Talk and senior Jared Whitcomb will compete in the shot put.
On the women's side, junior Megan Tomei, the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's Women's Field Athlete of the Year and the Conference Meet, will compete at nationals in both the shot put and weight throw. Senior Jamie Sindelar will go in the shot put, senior Lauren Ellsworth will run in the 200-meter dash, junior Rebecca Koval will compete in the high jump and sophomore Irene Skinner will go in the 400 dash.
- On Saturday at 1 p.m. Eastern, the No. 12-ranked Ashland men's basketball team (25-5) will play in the NCAA postseason for the first time in 25 years when it takes on Indianapolis in a Midwest Regional quarterfinal at Wisconsin-Parkside.
The regional's semifinals are Sunday (March 13), and the title game is Tuesday (March 15) at 8 p.m. Eastern. The regional champion advances to the Division II Elite Eight in Frisco, Texas, on March 23, 24 and 26.