BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The 2017 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships have concluded in Birmingham and grapplers from the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference had a very successful week, including two individual national championships.
Ashland placed sixth in the team standings with 46 points with Findlay (8th - 35) and Tiffin (9th - 34.5) not far behind. Lake Erie took 28th with 12.5 points on the week. Overall, the conference collected ten All-America honorees for finishing in the top eight positions of each weight category.
Tiffin 285-pound senior Garrett Gray captured the first-ever NCAA Wrestling Championship for TU. Gray put on a dominant performance, pinning three of his four opponents in 83 seconds or less. In the championship, Gray took on freshman Kameron Teacher from Notre Dame (Ohio). Gray wasted little time and pinned him in just 1:23. Gray also was a post tournament honoree, winning the Most Falls award with 19 on the season.
Ashland senior Michael Labry captured the national title in the 133-pound category with a 7-5 victory by decision over Blake Bosch of MSU-Moorhead. Labry was named the 2017 GLIAC Wrestler of the Year earlier in the season. Ashland's Luke Cramer picked up two victories to reach the semifinal round of the 197 division before falling to Jon Inman of Fort Hays State. Cramer went on to finish in third place after a 5-2 decision over Morgan Smith of Simon Fraser. AU teammate Jordan Murphy finished sixth in the 184-pound weight class to earn All-America accolades.
Findlay's Nic Goebel placed third in the 149-pound division after a victory by decision (7-3) in the third-place match against James Pieski from St. Cloud State. Goebel won his first two matches before dropping a tight 8-6 decision in the third round. Lake Erie's Nick Boggs took fifth at 149 with a victory over Tiffin's Michael Screptock by a 3-2 decision and become the seventh All-American in school history.
Findlay senior Joey White reached the semifinals of the 157-pound weight class, but lost 5-2 in a tie-breaker to Nebraska Kearney's Destin McCaughley. White finished the event in sixth place and earned All-American honors in the process. UF sophomore Alonzo Turner also secured All-American honors with his sixth place finish in the 165-pound weight class. Turner worked his way through the consolation bracket and finished the event with a 3-3 record. Junior Bradley Metz was the final Findlay Roughneck to earn All-American honors, taking seventh in the 174-pound bracket. Metz posted a 3-2 record and claimed a 1-0 win over McKendree's Nick Foster in the seventh place match.