Ashland University freshman Michael Labry (Twinsburg, Ohio) and sophomore Joe Brandt (Versailles, Ohio) wrapped up their trip to the NCAA Division II wrestling championships Saturday (Mar. 9) by winning All-America honors.
Labry, wrestling at 133 pounds placed fourth. Brandt, working at 197 pounds, was seventh. This is the second consecutive year Brandt placed seventh. To finish as an All-American, a wrestling has to place in the top eight at nationals. This year's national championship event was held in Birmingham, Ala.
Labry went 2-1 on Saturday. He stopped Perry Mcafee of Chadron State, 8-3. The AU sophomore followed that up with a 7-4 decision over Casy Rowell of Central Oklahoma. Rowell is ranked first in the country. He defeated Labry in the championship match of the Super Region 2 Tournament two weeks ago at Kates Gymnasium. Labry is ranked fifth in the country.
With one more victory, Labry could have secured third place. However, Alphonso Vruno of Minnesota State-Mankato dashed that dream with a 2-1 win. The Minnesota wrestler is ranked seventh in the country.
The ever-steady Brandt lost on Saturday to Carl Broghammer of Upper Iowa, 3-1. Broghammer brought a 41-5 record to Alabama. He is ranked second in the country and Brandt is fourth. Broghammer ended up finishing third in the weight class.
Brandt's final match of the day was against Newberry's Joe Grisko. Brandt won, 4-3.
Entering Saturday night's championship finals, AU was tied for 15th place in the team standings with Findlay. Both teams had 19.5 points.
Ashland is coached by Tim Dernlan. The Eagles brought four wrestlers to this championship event.