KEARNEY, Neb. – Augustana advanced all seven of its wrestlers to the winners’ bracket and had six of them move on to the semifinals en route to a second-place team position after first day of the NCAA Championship Friday in Kearney, Neb.
Al Meger (125 pounds), Jason Jeremiason (133 pounds), Jay Sherer (141 pounds), Nate Herda (149 pounds), Gavin Nelson (165 pounds) and Ty Copsey (197 pounds) have all secured All-America status with their places in the semifinals. Marcus Edgington (157 pounds) will also pick up All-America honors as he advanced to quarterfinals of the consolation bracket via wrestle backs. The top eight wrestlers from each weight class are deemed All-America.
Meger, ranked No. 6 in Division II at 125 pounds, opened the day by knocking off No. 4 Jose Matos of Gannon (Pa.) 4-3. He went on to blank Adams State’s Gerald Huff 5-0 to advance to the semifinals. Meger will face Shippensburg’s Chrisopher Kochinsky tomorrow.
No. 5-ranked Jeremiason also earned a spot in the semifinals by picking up two wins on Friday. The 133-pounder topped Central Oklahoma’s Trison Graham 6-4 and followed that win with a 4-0 victory over Kutztown’s Austin Williams, who entered the tournament ranked second in the country. Jeremiason will face Grand Canyon’s Todd Wilcox tomorrow. Wilcox is the top-ranked wrestler at 133 pounds.
Sherer’s quest to defend his national title at 141 pounds was kept intact with a pair of wins by the senior. He beat GCU’s Kyle Wilson 8-5 and topped Newberry’s Deral Brown 3-1. The victories set Sherer up with Nebraska-Kearney’s Dalton Jensen—ranked No. 3—in the semifinals.
Herda’s performance at 149 pounds also advanced him to the semifinals. After sneaking past Pittsburgh Johnstown’s Nathan Link, Herda unseated No. 1-ranked Esai Dominguez of Nebraska-Omaha 6-4. His takedown in the closing moments served as the difference in the tight bout. Herda will wrestle No. 2 TJ Hepburn of UNK in the semifinals.
Nelson, ranked No. 4, opened the day in convincing style at 165 pounds, registering a 9-1 major decision victory over San Francisco State’s. He followed with a 11-8 win over top-ranked Mike Williams of North Carolina-Pembroke. Nelson rallied from a 4-0 deficit to complete the win. He will face No. 3 Michael Lybarger of Findlay tomorrow.
No. 2 Copsey made quick work of his first bout at 197 pounds. The defending national-runner up checked in with a 10-1 win by major decision over Mesa State’s Shane Miller. Copsey secured his spot in the semifinals with by posting a 4-2 victory over NU’s John Reed. He will battle Western State’s Donovan McMahill, who is ranked No. 1 in the country, tomorrow.
No. 5 Edgington was the only Augustana wrestler to not make the semifinals, but the 157-pounder did log a strong performance on the opening day. After defeating No. 2 Cory Dauphin of Central Oklahoma to open the tournament, Edgington fell to No. 7 Jordan Shields of Mercyhurst 2-1. In the wrestlebacks, the sophomore beat WSC’s Justin Morris 6-1. The win ensures Edgington All-America honors and set him up top-ranked George Ivanov of UNO in the consolation semifinals.
Tomorrow’s semifinals and consolation semifinals begin at 10 a.m. The finals begin at 7 p.m.
125 – Al Meger defeat Jose Matos (GU) 4-3
WB: Meger defeated Gerald Huff (ASC) 5-0
Semifinals: Megers vs. Christopher Kochinsky (SU)
133 – Jason Jeremiason defeated Trison Graham (UCO) 6-4
WB: Jeremiason defeated Austin Williams (KU) 4-0
Semifinal: Jeremiason vs. Todd Wilcox (GCU)
141 – Jay Sherer defeated Kyle Wilson (GCU) 8-5
WB: Sherer defeated Deral Brown (UNB) 3-1
Semifinals: Sherer vs. Dalton Jensen (UNK)
149 – Nate Herda defeated Nathan Link (UPJ) 3-1
WB: Herda d157 – Marcus Edgington defeated Cory Dauphin (UCO) 5-2
WB: Edgington lost to Jordan Shields (MC) 2-1
LB: Edgington defeated Justin Morris (WSC) 6-1
LB: Edgington vs. George Ivanov (UNO)
165 – Gavin Nelson defeated Isaiah Jimenez (SFSU) 9-1
WB: Nelson defeated Mike Williams (UNCP) 11-8
Semifinals: Nelson vs. Michael Lybarger (UF)
197 – Ty Copsey defeated Shane Miller (MSC) 10-1
WB: Copsey defeated John Reed (NBU) 4-2
Semifinals: Copsey vs. Donovan McMahill (WSC)