There have been five national champion individuals in the history of Ashland University wrestling.
However, none of them went an entire season without losing a match.
Last season, 133-pound 2017 graduate Michael Labry became the first Eagle to win a title since Corey Kline in 1996. He finished 2016-17 with a 35-1 record.
This season is through the halfway point as far as dates are concerned, and two wrestlers on No. 3-ranked AU remain undefeated: Redshirt seniors Luke Cramer (10-0, ranked No. 1 at 197 pounds) and Jordan Murphy (9-0, No. 4 at 184).
"The end goal is to finish out the rest of the year undefeated," Cramer said. "I definitely feel good. After you've been in the sport for so long, this being my last few months, if you don't have your technique and everything down by this point, you haven't worked hard enough."
Cramer and Murphy are the only Eagles on this year's roster who have earned All-American recognition in the past. Cramer placed third at the 2017 national championships, and Murphy finished sixth.
"Undefeated is not on my mind at all," Murphy said. "There are only two days that I'm focused on being undefeated, and that's at nationals."
To get to this point, Murphy has beaten wrestlers currently ranked No. 1, No. 7 and No. 10 in his weight class, and Cramer beat No. 11.
"If I won a title," Murphy said, "then I'll have my own individual piece of AU history already, because we've only had five national champs. On top of that, I still believe we're going to win a team title. So one way or another, I think the odds are in my favor to be a part of something that's never happened here."
Murphy won a title at the 39th annual Midwest Classic on Dec. 17, and Cramer took first at the Ohio Intercollegiates on Nov. 12.
"Jordan and I work as hard as we can in the wrestling room everyday so that when regionals and nationals come, there's nothing holding us back and we've done everything we can to put ourselves in the best position to win," Cramer said.
Making his story that much more intriguing, Murphy elected not to wrestle in college after graduating from Oxon Hill High School in Maryland. Instead, he spent five years coaching at the high school he graduated from.
"A lot of people would ask why I wasn't wrestling in college," Murphy said. "During that time period, I was thinking it would be nice because when I'm coaching or when I have children, this would be a time period in my life that I could tell them about how hard I had to work.
"If I reach my goals this season, it will kind of be like a storybook ending."
Cramer has his own motivation, as his brother, Jake, garnered All-American honors at Tiffin in 2015 and 2016.
"We don't really discuss wrestling," Cramer said. "But it definitely drives me to do as good as he did."
Luke has already surpassed Jake's career-best fourth-place finish, but he'll need one more All-American notch under his belt to match him in that category.
The Eagles are traveling to Lourdes in Sylvania, Ohio, for a dual on Wednesday (Jan. 17) at 7 p.m., and come back home to face No. 15 Lake Erie on Saturday (Jan. 20) at 7 p.m in Kates Gymnasium. The Storm feature three nationally-ranked wrestlers, one of which is No. 8 at 184 pounds in redshirt junior Tyler Hughes.
As Murphy sees it, that's not nearly as important as what lies ahead on March 9-10 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa - the 2018 Division II National Championships.