BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Ashland University wrestling went into the Division II National Championships ranked seventh in the country and left on Saturday (March 11) with a sixth-place finish under its belt.
At the heart of that effort was senior Michael Labry, who became the first Eagle to win a national title since 1996. At 133 pounds, Labry completed the last season of his decorated collegiate career with a 35-1 record.
In the title match, Labry defeated No. 2-ranked Minnesota State Moorhead Blake Bosh in a 7-5 decision. In the semifinals, Labry beat Gannon freshman Carmine Ciotti, 7-1.
"I train hard to wrestle for seven minutes," Labry said. "I'm not a big pinner. I get take downs, and I'm hard to score on. That's what I pried myself on."
Labry is now a four-time All-American, as he placed fourth as a freshman, third as a sophomore and second as a junior before taking a redshirt in 2015-16.
"(Redshirting) was a wrestling move and a life move," he said. "I figured if I took a redshirt, I might have a good chance to win it this year. But I also wanted to graduate, and I started my MBA. So it was as much of a life and career move as it was a wrestling move."
Cramer placed third at 197, beating the No. 5- and No. 7-ranked wrestlers in his bracket in low-scoring decisions.
Murphy finished sixth. He lost to No. 2-ranked California Baptist sophomore Nick Fiegener in the semifinals, No. 3-ranked Colorado State-Pueblo freshman JaVaughn Perkins in the consolation semifinals, and he lost via medical forfeit in the final.