University Nationals Experience Gives Labry New Perspective

Michael Labry, left, at University Nationals.
Michael Labry, left, at University Nationals.

            Ashland University's Michael Labry (Twinsburg, Ohio) placed sixth for ages 18-28 at the University Nationals, which were held recently in Akron. The winners in each division represent the United States at the World Championships.

            Labry was a freshman in 2012-13. He finished fourth in the nation at 133 pounds.

            At Akron, Labry's first-round match was against Daniel Deshezer of Nebraska-Kearney, the NCAA Division II champion. Labry prevailed in that match, 9-4.

            "I am really proud of Michael," said AU head coach Tim Dernlan. "This is a really great accomplishment. He trained hard all spring for this event and I am glad that his hard work and dedication paid off."

            "It was a good experience to wrestle against Division I kids," said Labry. "I got the chance to compare Division I to Division II. I think this was a big advantage, to wrestle like this over the summer. Even just watching other matches was a large advantage. There were multiple Division I national champions there and Olympic guys. Just having the chance to watch helps pick up stuff, things like new moves, new techniques."

            The format in this tournament also presented Labry with a different experience. Matches consisted of two, three-minute periods.

            "My conditioning could have been better," admitted Labry. "It's tough getting your conditioning right in the summer. You have to work with what you have. This was my first time wrestling with these rules and it took some getting used to. Your conditioning has to be better."