Eagles Ready For NCAA Championships In Sioux Falls

Eagles Ready For NCAA Championships In Sioux Falls


That's the number of wrestlers who have made it to the NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships each of the last three seasons for Ashland University.

The 2016 championship qualifiers consist of a cast young and experienced. Back for his fourth trip to the NCAA Championships is senior All-American Joe Brandt at 197 pounds. Brandt finished fifth at the 2014 championships before redshirting the 2014-15 season.

Brandt will wrestle Brandon Clark (21-5) of Kutztown in the first round on Friday (March 11).

Juniors Brent Fickel and Brandon O'Neill both return to the nationals scene after competing in the championships a season ago. O'Neill and Fickel have both spent part of this season sidelined due to injury, but are back and ready for a run through the championships.

Fickel finished second at the super regional, while O'Neill secured the fourth and final spot. Fickel is set to wrestle Colorado Mesa's Drew Schumann (21-6), and O'Neill will begin with undefeated Aero Amo (21-0) from Augustana (S.D.).

Junior Jordan Murphy will make his first appearance at the championships for the Eagles at 174. Murphy has compiled a 21-8 record, and will take on Calvin Ochs (18-3) from Nebraska-Kearney.

Redshirt junior Bobby Mason will face off against Pitt-Johnstown's Sam Hanau (21-8) at 141. Mason stands with a 14-12 record.

Freshman Chandler Minnard has broke on to the scene, winning 16 matches so far this season at 133. Minnard finished fourth at the super regional tournament and will take on MSU-Moorhead's Blake Bosch (28-5).

The Eagles will begin Day 1 of the NCAA Championships Friday at noon in Sioux Falls, S.D. Nationals concludes on Saturday (March 12).