Vikings continue to roll at NCAA Championship

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.

BRACKETS (through Session I)  |  TEAM STANDINGS

The Vikings totaled 54.5 points, just three points behind leader Nebraska-Omaha.

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.

Augustana Bout-by-Bout
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)

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