Grapplers Compete at NCAA Wrestling Nationals

Grapplers Compete at NCAA Wrestling Nationals

SIOUX FALLS -- A total of 16 wrestlers representing the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) took part in the 2016 NCAA Division II Championships in Sioux Falls, South Dakota March 11 & 12.



Joe Brandt ended his Ashland University wrestling career in fine style. The Eagles' senior 197-pounder took third place on Saturday at the 2016 NCAA Division II Championships, with a pin in 2:36 of Ryan Beltz of Maryville.

Brandt ends his senior season with a 29-3 record, and a career mark of 115-25. To get to the third-place match on Saturday, Brandt topped Upper Iowa's Ryan Parmely by pin, then Notre Dame's Garrett Lineberger by a 2-1 decision.

On Friday, Brandt lost his nationals opener to Kutztown's Brandon Clark (3-2 loss on first tiebreaker) before winning the first two consolations rounds against Dillon Archer of Lindenwood (9-0 major decision) and Shippensburg's Evan Ramos (pin).

This is Brandt's fourth All-American honor. He finished seventh at nationals as a freshman and a sophomore, and fifth as a junior.

As a team, the Eagles finished 14th in the country.

AU junior Brandon O'Neill lost in the opening round to Aero Amos of Augustana (S.D.) by a 3-2 decision. O'Neill then took down Cody Spinks of Alderson Broaddus, pinning him in 4:54. In the second consolation round, O'Neill lost to Nick Burghart of Maryville in a technical fall.

Freshman Chandler Minnard (133), junor Bobby Mason (141), junior Brent Fickel (149) and junior Jordan Murphy (174) had their seasons end on Friday (March 11) after losing twice in the championships.


Junior Nick Goebel claimed third place at the 2016 NCAA Division II Wrestling National Championship in Sioux Falls. Goebel, who went 4-1 at the national tournament, finishes the year with a 40-5 record. His 40 wins established a new single season school record at Findlay, eclipsing the mark of 39 set by former national champion Michael Lybarger during the 2011 campaign.

Goebelm the top-ranked wrestler in the nation at 149, reached the semifinals of the competition yesterday, but was upended in his first match on Saturday. He suffered a loss by pin fall to Nebraska-Kearney's Destin McCauley in 1:33 to end his hopes for a shot at the title in the 149-pound weight class. McCauley is ranked second nationally behind Goebel.

In the consolation bracket, Goebel scored a 7-2 win over sixth-ranked Jeremy Landowski of Mercyhurst to reach the third place match. He then claimed the bronze to earn All-American honors with a 5-3 victory over third-ranked Jay Hildreth of St. Cloud State.

Junior Joey White also competed for the Roughnecks on day one and was eliminated after posting a 1-2 record in the 157-oound weight class. White lost his first round match by a 4-3 margin against Maryville's Greg Hegarty before winning 11-4 against Western State's Ian Steen. He then fell 2-1 against JaCobi Jones, the third-ranked wrestler in the nation from Colorado State-Pueblo in the consolation bracket to end his tournament.

Red-shirt freshman Alonzo Turner also posted a 1-2 mark in the 165-pound weight class and was eliminated from the tournament on day one. He lost 2-1 to Pitt-Johnstown's Tyler Reinhart in the first round before scoring a 7-3 victory against Colorado Mesa's Nick Swanson in the consolation round. Nolan Kistler of Californaia Baptist then ended Turner's tournament by winning via fall in 6:38.


Matt Vandermeer finished sixth at the 2016 NCAA Division-II Championships in the 165-pound weight class. Vandermeer, a fifth-year senior, ends his career as the Storm's first three-time All-American.  This weekend, he became the second wrestler in program history to record 100 career wins.  He was also just one-of-two Storm wrestlers to reach a Division-II Championship match.

Vandermeer dropped his match against Tyler Reinhart of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in the semifinals by a 5-3 margin. In the consolation semifinals, he fell 3-2 to Tyler McClean of Simon Fraser University. In the fifth-place match, Vandermeer faced Francis Mizia of Mercyhurst University, who escaped with the 5-0 decision.

Nicholas Vandermeer finished the national meet with a 1-2 mark in the 174-pound bracket. Vandermeer defeated Austin Harris of Western State University by a 7-5 decision in the opening round. In the quarterfinals, he fell to Adam Cooling of Minnesota State University-Mankato by a narrow 3-2 margin. In the consolation bracket, Nicholas faced Tarrence Williams of Colorado State University-Pueblo and fell by decision, 10-4.

As a team, the Storm scored 10 points, placing them in 29th place out of the 48 competing teams.


Tiffin University sent five wrestlers to the 2016 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships.

TU's Jake Cramer finished in sixth place at 197 pounds. Cramer started the final day in the final four taking on Joe Gomez of Northern State, where he dropped a razor thin 5-3 decision in sudden death. Falling to the consolation rounds, he was then pinned by Ryan Beltz of Maryville in 1:06. He fell in the 5th place match to Garrett Lineberger of Notre Dame by another close score of 6-2.

285 pounder Garrett Gray, GLIAC Wrestler of the Year, earned a pinfall victory at 2:49 in the opening round over Kyle Factor of Central Oklahoma prior to two defeats by scores of 4-2 and 4-1.

At 125 pounds, Giuseppe Penzone fell to Lawson Ludwin of Fort Hays State in the first round and then defeated Zach Brown of West Liberty before being eliminated by Ronald Warleigh of Western State.

At 149 pounds, Mike Screptock lost a pair of matches to Spencer Rutherford of Central Oklahoma before falling to Damian Penichet of Upper Iowa in the consolation bracket.

Lastly, 157 pounder, Sam Viengmany lost to Matt Mincey of Minnesota State Mankato in the opener before earning a victory over Adam Martz of Shippensburg prior to being eliminated by Jonatan Rivera of Notre Dame.