Three Eagles Undefeated After Day 1 At Nationals

Three Eagles Undefeated After Day 1 At Nationals


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Three wrestlers from No. 7-ranked Ashland University went 2-0 on Friday (March 10) at Day 1 of the NCAA Division II National Championships.

The Eagles also sit in third place in the team standings with 30.5 points, one point behind second-place McKendree, 25.5 behind first-place Notre Dame and one point ahead of fourth-place Nebraska-Kearney.

Senior Michael Labry (133 pounds), junior Jordan Murphy (184) and junior Luke Cramer (197) have clinched a spot on the podium and are set to compete in the semifinals on Saturday (March 11).

Labry, ranked No. 1 at his weight class entering the tournament, won both of his matches by decision. He defeated Colorado Mesa sophomore Juaquin Olivas, 6-3, and McKendree junior NaQuan Hardy, 4-2. Labry is set to face Gannon's No. 10-ranked freshman Carmon Ciotti in the semifinals.

Murphy came into the championships ranked ninth, but after improving to 15-0 on the season, he's one of four wrestlers with a shot at the title. He beat Western State freshman Konnor Schmidt in an 11-3 major decision and Minnesota State junior Corey Abernathy in a 9-7 decision. Murphy's semifinal match will be against No. 2-ranked Nick Fiegener, a sophomore from California Baptist.

No. 3-ranked Cramer will be the third All-American for Ashland, as he overcame Mavericks freshman Matthew Blome by major decision (11-3) and Simon Fraser junior Morgan Smith by decision (5-4). Cramer will face No. 2-ranked senior Jon Inman of Fort Hays State in his semifinal match.

Sophomore Chandler Minnard (141), senior Brent Fickel (149) and sophomore Deaken McCoy (285) all dropped their first match, took a win in the consolation bracket and lost their third match.

Freshman Bret Romanzak (165) went 0-2 in his first career appearance at the national tournament.

All of Saturday's action begins at 10 a.m., and the title matches will begin at 6 p.m.