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Wrestling Completes at Nationals; Brings home Champions

BLAKE LARGENT ‘22 | STAFF WRITER • The Wabash wrestling team advanced six wrestlers to the 2019 NCAA Division III Wrestling National Championship Tournament, including Carlos Champagne ’22 in the 125- pound weight class, Owen Doster ’20
in the 133-pound weight class, Jared Timberman ’21 in the 157-pound weight class, Kyle Hatch ’21 in the 165-pound weight class, Darden Schurg ’19 in the 174-pound weight class and Wade Ripple ’21 in the 285-pound weight class

Three total Wabash wrestlers advanced from Friday’s round and into the All- America round on Saturday, beginning with Champagne in 125-pound action.

He lost his first match by a 9-1 major decision against Jay Albis from Johnson and Wales but bounced back with a pin of Josiah Gehr from Messiah and an 8-0 major decision over Zack Murillo from Wesleyan, allowing him to advance into Saturday’s All-America round. Two other Little Giants advanced as well, with Hatch grabbing three-straight victories in 165- pound action and Schurg capturing two- straight victories in 174-pound action.

In the All-America round, Champagne placed seventh total in the 125-pound weight class to earn All-America honors while Hatch finished sixth total in the 165-pound weight class, earning All-America honors for the second consecutive year. In 174-pound action, Schurg faced Mount Union’s Jairod James in the championship round. After falling behind 3-1 in the match, two consecutive penalties from James allowed Schurg to tie the score at 3-3 with 10 seconds left and sent the match into overtime. Schurg needed just nine seconds in the overtime period to capture a national title, quickly scoring a takedown over James to capture the sudden-death victory.

Schurg began the year as the top- ranked wrestler in his weight class and never relinquished that spot, finishing as the top-ranked wrestler to end the season. He is the first national champion for Wabash wrestling since Riley Lefever’s national title in 2017.

The Little Giants finished ninth as a team out of 74 total teams in the tournament and ended with three total All-America honors this season. Bash returns next winter.