Ashland University junior Michael Labry is right at home far away from home.
Friday (March 13) on Day 1 of the NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis, Mo., Labry went 2-0 at 133 pounds to advance to the national semifinals. He defeated Joseph Calderone of LIU Post by an 8-4 count and took a 14-7 decision over Blake Bosch of Minnesota State Moorehead.
Labry, 41-1 on the season, will take on Dakota Bauer of Maryville in one national semi on Saturday (March 14). Labry is a two-time All-American who placed third at nationals in 2014 and fourth nationally in 2013.
Also alive for the Eagles after Day 1 is sophomore 149-pounder Brent Fickel, who lost his opening match 7-3 against Terrel Wilbourn of Lindenwood, but came back to take a 9-5 decision from Drew Schumann of Colorado Mesa and a 13-5 major decision against Seton Hill's Ty Lydic in the consolation rounds.
Fickel is 19-7 this season.
Four Eagles competed at nationals for the first time on Friday – sophomore Luke Cramer at 174 pounds (1-2), junior Zeb Beam at 157 (0-2), junior Kurt Schaefer at 184 (0-2) and sophomore Brandon O'Neill at 197 (0-2).