The Ashland University wrestling team ended Saturday (Feb. 25), the first day at the NCAA Division II Regional Championships, with six wrestlers advancing to the semifinals. With one more day of action remaining, the Eagles are fifth out of 11 teams at the event. This year's Super Region 2 event is being hosted by Central Oklahoma.
The host Bronchos, ranked sixth in the nation, lead the field with 73 points. King (63) is second and Limestone (57.5) is third. Findlay (53) is fourth, just ahead of the Eagles (52). Limestone is ranked 15th in the country, King is ranked 18th and the Eagles are ranked 10th. Ashland defeated King in a dual earlier this season.
The six AU wrestlers who go into Sunday without a loss at this tournament are senior Brandon Davis (Greensboro, N.C./Page) at 125 pounds, senior Marc Hoff (Liberty Center, Ohio) at 149 pounds, junior Dan Genetin (Navarre, Ohio/Massillon Perry) at 157 pounds, freshman Bryson Hall (Doylestown, Ohio/Chippewa) at 174 pounds, freshman Joe Brandt (Versailles, Ohio) at 197 pounds and senior Jacob Southwick (Bowling Green, Ohio/Otsego) at 285.
Ashland finished second a year ago at the regional championships. To advance to nationals, a wrestler has to finish in the top four in his weight class at regionals.
Davis went 1-0 on Saturday, beating Austin Gillihan of Lake Erie, 9-4. Davis is the third seed in the regional field. His first match on Sunday will be against the second seed, Findlay's Ben Sergent. At the GLIAC Championships, held in Ashland earlier this month, Sergent nipped Davis, 4-3.
Hoff, the fourth seed at 149, went 2-0 on Saturday. His next opponent is the top seed in the bracket, Truman State's Ryan Maus.
At 157, junior Dan Genetin (Navarre, Ohio/Massillon Perry) got his regional tourney off to a good start with a 6-4 triumph over Tyler Tesney of Lake Erie. On Sunday, Genetin is slated to face Jeremy Bommarito of Limestone. Genetin is the third seed and Bommarito is seeded second.
Hall, a true freshman, advanced on Saturday with a 9-4 decision over William Ressel of Central Missouri. Hall has a difficult assignment staring him in the face. His first match on Sunday comes against Findlay's Michael Lybarger. The UF wrestler is the top seed in the region and at the GLIAC Championships he got the better of Hall, 3-1.
Another true freshman, Brandt, didn't show any rookie jitters on Saturday. Brandt was 2-0 on Saturday and on Sunday he'll square off against Daniel Scanlon of Limestone. Brandt is the fourth seed and Limestone is the top seed.
Southwick is seeded first at 285 pounds. A year ago Southwick earned the first All-American citation of his career by finishing fourth at nationals. Saturday he pinned Taylor Poe of Ouachita Baptist in 1:12.
Two AU wrestlers – sophomore Adli Edwards (Gahanna, Ohio/Thomas Worthington) and senior Tommie Graszl (Mansfield, Ohio/Madison) - are hoping to work their way back into the region's top four by advancing through the consolation bracket. Edwards is wrestling at 133 pounds and Graszl is at 165 pounds.
Central Oklahoma has nine wrestlers competing in the semifinals on Sunday. The Bronchos won 13 of 14 matches on Saturday and picked up bonus points in nine of those matches.