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Wrestling their Way to Regionals

JAKE CHRISMAN ‘20 | STAFF WRITER • This weekend, Wabash will be hosting the NCAA Regional Wrestling Tournament in Knowling Fieldhouse. This tournament starts today and ends Saturday evening. It will feature the ten starting
Little Giant wrestlers, who will be competing for a chance to qualify for the national tournament. Hunter Bates ’20 said, “I think we look really good. We have had great practices all week and everyone seems to be dialed in. I think we could have a really good showing this Saturday.”

Sunny Nier ’21 will be competing in the 125 weight class for the Little Giants. Nier will be competing for his chance to go to nationals in his first year with the Little Giants. Nier has ended up on the podium several times this semester.

Owen Doster ’20 will take the mat for the Little Giants at 133. Doster is a returning national qualifier for the Little Giants, placing seventh last season as a freshman. Doster, going into regionals, is ranked second in the nation. After battling small injuries earlier in the season, Doster had an impressive showing at the John Summa Invitational Saturday, February 3, placing second, losing 6-2 to Dustin Warner from Wheeling Jesuit. Doster will be looking for his second appearance at nationals and another chance
to end up on the podium. “We will get to see Owen wrestle some good competition on Saturday,” Jared Timberman ’20 said. “I have no doubt that he will win the regional, but I think he will win it in a dominating fashion.”

Bryce Everson ‘20 will be representing Wabash at 141. In his second year with the team, Everson will be competing for a chance to regular season with the Little season.   Everson has had an impressive year, landing the top eight at several tournaments.

Austin Bethel ‘21 will be competing for a spot in the national tournament at 149 on Saturday. One of many strong freshmen in the Wabash lineup, Bethel placed in many tournaments this season. He took first in the John Summa Invitational and the Spartan Mat Classic. Bethel enters the tournament ranked eighth in the nation and is looking for his first national appearance.

Kyle Hatch ’21 will be competing for the Little Giants at 157. Hatch has come on strong with an impressive freshman season with the Little Giants. Hath claimed five first place finishes at individual tournaments in his first year. Hatch is ranked seventh in the nation and will be competing for his first appearance at nationals.

Timberman will enter the ring for the Little Giants Saturday. “I feel really good going into this weekend,” Timberman said. “I have been doing really well in the room wrestling with Darden Schurg and Coach Reece Lefever. I am excited to wrestle.” Timberman has had an impressive year as a freshman, pacing in most of the tournaments he has wrestled in and winning the Adrian College Invitational.

Darden Schurg ’19 will represent the Little Giants on Saturday and will be fighting to return to the national tournament. This season, Schurg finished on top the podium multiple times this semester. Schurg enters Saturday ranked fourth in the nation

Bates will be competing for his first national appearance on Saturday. “I think Hunter is going to show out this weekend,” Timberman said. “He has struggled at times this season, but he seems really focused and ready to get out there. He definitely has the ability to place top three and get to nationals.” Bates had a good regulate season with the Little  Giants. Bates had an impressive showing at the Adrian College Invitational where he went 4-0, finishing first. “I think I am just excited that it is time for regionals,” Bates said. “It is time to lay everything on the line and see who is ready to buck up and punch their ticket to nationals.”

Grant Gough ’18 came on strong in the latter half of the season
and will be competing for his last chance to qualify for nationals Saturday. Gough placed in the

top eight at multiple tournaments this season.

Wade Ripple ’21 took on the role of 285 this season as a true freshman and has done a great job thus far. Ripple will be competing for his first national appearance this Saturday. Ripple placed in the top four at many tournaments this season. His second place finish at the Spartan Mat Classic on January 13 came after grappling his way into the finals match where he lost a tough match to nationally ranked Gabriel Mahaney from Baldwin Wallace. “If Wade wrestles well, he will make it out this weekend. He has the chance to show everyone how good he really is,” Timberland said.

Wrestling begins at 11 a.m. on Friday morning at will go throughout the day. It resumes Saturday morning at 10 a.m.. The top three wrestlers will advance
to the NCAA National Individual Tournament held on March 9 and March 10 in Cleveland, Ohio. “This week has been about positive vibes and being focused,” Timberman said. “We have all realized what
is in front of us and we are not backing down.”