Wrestling: #9 Mount Union Places Third at NCAA Central Regional; Four Qualify for Nationals

Left to Right: Jairod James, Nolan Wochna, Nick Mancini, Michael McIntire
Left to Right: Jairod James, Nolan Wochna, Nick Mancini, Michael McIntire

CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. – No. 9 ranked Mount Union had eight wrestlers place and finished third as a team at the NCAA Central Regional at Wabash College. 

Four Purple Raiders had top-three finishes, qualifying them for the 2018 NCAA Division III National Championships taking place March 9-10 at the Public Auditorium in Cleveland, Ohio.

Junior Jairod James (Bedford/Bedford), ranked No. 2 nationally, led Mount Union as he went undefeated on the weekend to win the 174-pound title.

Nationally-ranked No. 7 senior Nick Mancini (Boardman/Boardman) placed second in the region, making his first trip to the national tournament after two fourth place finishes and a fifth place finish over his career.

Also taking second and making their debut at nationals, are freshmen Nolan Wochna (Brecksville/Brecksville-Broadview Heights) at 133 pounds and Michael McIntire (Wadsworth/St. Vincent-St. Mary) at 157 pounds.

Seniors Alec Cotton (Hartville/Lake) and Jesse Gross (Norwalk/St. Paul) both fell in the consolation final that would have sent them to nationals and placed fourth. Cotton finishes his career with the fifth-most career wins at Mount Union with a record of 104-34 and a season record of 30-9. Gross finishes his career with a record of 57-30 and a season record of 27-11.

Sophomore Isaiah Watson-Kirksey (Alliance) and freshman Luke Hernandez (Nashport/Tri-Valley) wrapped up the placers for Mount Union with two sixth-place finishes.

As a team, Mount Union tallied 116 total points to take third place which was behind region champ and No. 6 ranked Baldwin Wallace with 165.5 points and No. 13 ranked Wabash (Ind.) in second with 147.5 points.

Mount Union Individual Results

125 - No. 7 Nick Mancini (3-1: 2nd Place)

  • Champ. Round 1: Mancini over Austin Wieczorek (ALMA), TF 16-1
  • Champ. Quarterfinals: Mancini over Jimmy Murphy (TMC), TF 18-2
  • Champ. Semifinals: Mancini over Jordan Burkholder (MUSK), Dec 2-1
  • Champ. Finals: Christopher Doyle (BW) over Mancini, Dec 4-1

133 - Nolan Wochna (3-1: 2nd Place)

  • Champ. Round 1: Wochna over Chase Beecher (ALMA), Pin 3:32
  • Champ. Quarterfinals: Wochna over No. 9 Dante Ginnetti (BW), Dec 12-6
  • Champ. Semifinals: Wochna over Josh Kuslock (WAYNES), Pin 5:42
  • Champ. Finals: No. 2 Owen Doster (WABASH) over Wochna, Pin 2:03

141 - Alec Cotton (4-2: 4th Place)

  • Champ. Round 1: Cotton over James Renaud (ADIRAN), Pin 2:02
  • Champ. Round 2: Cotton over Sammy Southers (MUSK), Pin 4:52
  • Champ. Quarterfinals: Cotton over Michael Heinl (W&J), TF 16-0
  • Champ. Semifinals: Charlie Nash (BW) over Cotton, TB-1 5-3
  • Cons. Seminfinals: Cotton over Brice Everson (WABASH), Dec 3-1
  • 3rd Place Match: Brendan Ladd (ALMA) over Cotton, Dec 3-2

149 - Luke Hernandez (2-3: 6th Place)

  • Champ. Round 1: BYE
  • Champ. Round 2: Hernandez over Jacob Anderson (ALMA), Dec 11-5
  • Champ. Quarterfinals: Hernandez over Jordan Napier (MAN), SV-2 9-7
  • Champ. Semifinals: Jarrad Lasko (JCU) over Hernandez, Dec 4-3
  • Cons. Semifinals: Hayden Bates (HEID) over Hernandez, Dec 5-0
  • 5th Place Match: Jordan Napier (MAN) over Hernandez, MFF

157 - Michael McIntire (3-1: 2nd Place)

  • Champ. Round 1: BYE
  • Champ. Round 2: McIntire over Denver Aydelott (OTT), Pin 4:43
  • Champ. Quarterfinals: McIntire over John Leark (OLIVET), Dec 4-2
  • Champ. Semifinals: McIntire over Hunter Neely (W&J), Dec 6-5
  • Champ. Finals: Kyle Hatch (WABASH) over McIntire, Pin 4:13

165 - Jesse Gross (3-2: 4th Place)

  • Champ. Round 1: Gross over Alex Arney (MAN), Pin 6:40
  • Champ. Quarterfinals: Gross over Willy Plaisir (OTT), Dec 15-11
  • Champ. Semifinals: No. 3 Anthony Arroyo (BW) over Gross, Pin 1:44
  • Cons. Semifinals: Gross over Seth Meyer (ONU), SV 3-1
  • 3rd Place Match: Blake Dixon (JCU) over Gross, Dec 4-2

174 - No. 2 Jairod James (4-0: 1st Place)

  • Champ. Round 1: James over Bryce Hessler (OTT), Pin 5:59
  • Champ. Quarterfinals: James over Jacob Taylor (TRINE), Pin 4:31
  • Champ. Semifinals: James over Jared Walker (W&J), MD 11-2
  • Champ. Finals: James over No. 4 Darden Schurg (WABASH), Dec 4-0

184 - Isaiah Watson-Kirksey (2-3: 6th Place)

  • Champ. Round 1: BYE
  • Champ. Round 2: Watson-Kirksey over Nate Tommas (CASE), MFF
  • Champ. Quarterfinals: Watson-Kirksey over Donny Didion (OTT), Dec 6-4
  • Champ. Semifinals: Zeckary Lehman (BW) over Watson-Kirksey, Dec 5-1
  • Cons. Semfinals: Tyler Hammack (HEID) over Watson-Kirksey, Pin 0:30
  • 5th Place Match: Luke Carver (TRINE) over Watson-Kirksey, Dec 9-7

197 - Nick Corvo (0-2)

  • Champ. Round 1: Ken Burrs (WAYNES) over Corvo, TF 17-2
  • Cons. Round 1: Chase Morrison (HEID) over Corvo, Pin 1:53

285 - Cody Carr (3-2)

  • Champ. Round 1: BYE
  • Champ. Round 2: Zachary Rieger (ADRIAN) over Carr, Pin 5:40
  • Cons. Round 3: Carr over Zach Saylor (TRINE), Dec 3-1
  • Cons. Round 4: Carr over Dereke Allen (W&J), Pin 2:35
  • Cons. Round 5: Carr over Trevor Piggott (OLIVET), Dec 3-2
  • Cons. Quartfinals: Nick Joyner (MAN) over Carr, Pin 6:44