KEARNEY, Neb. – Augustana’s Al Meger will wrestle for a national championship at 125 pounds tonight after winning his semifinal match Saturday morning at the NCAA Championship in Kearney, Neb. The Vikings currently sit in third place in the team standings.
Augustana had six wrestlers in the semifinals of the winners’ bracket, but Meger was the lone Viking to move on to the finals. He used a takedown in overtime to sneak past Shippensburg’s Christopher Kochinsky. Meger will face Upper Iowa’s Trevor Franklin in the title tilt.
Jason Jeremiason (133 pounds, third place), Jay Sherer (141 pounds, fourth place), Nate Herda (149 pounds, third place), Marcus Edgington (157 pounds, seventh place) Gavin Nelson (165 pounds, sixth place) and Ty Copsey (197 pounds, fourth place) all earned All-America status with at least top-eight finishes.
Augustana’s remaining six wrestlers were forced to venture through the consolation bracket for the remainder of tournament action.
Jeremiason worked his way to a third-place finish after pinning Pittsburgh-Johnstown’s Ryan Link in 3 minutes, 45 seconds. He was blanked 4-0 by Kutztown’s Austin Williams in his semifinal match at 133 pounds but went on to beat Western State’s Jesse Cruz 7-3 in the consolation semifinals.
Herda earned third-place accolades at 149 pounds after beating Mitchell Means from Fort Hays State 6-4 in the third-place match. He started the day with a loss when UNK’s TJ Hepburn used a takedown in the second overtime period to win 6-4. The sophomore also registered a 3-2 win over Kutztown’s John in the consolation semifinals.
Sherer, who entered the tournament as the defending national champion, picked up a fourth-place finish. Sherer was on the wrong end of a 17-second pin in his 141-pound match as he fell to Nebraska-Kearney’s Dalton Jensen in his opening match of the day. Sherer managed a 4-2 win over San Fransisco State’s Naveed Bagheri in the consolation semifinals but fell to Gabe Suarez 3-2 in the third-place bout.
Copsey logged a fourth-place finish but was forced to record a forfeit in his final bout of the day. The senior fell to Western State’s Donovan McMahill, who is undefeated, in the semifinals in overtime. In his consolation semifinal match, Copsey notched an 18-7 win by major decision against Adams State’s Luke McPeek. With just one second left in the match, Copsey suffered an injury but still managed to finish the match. The injury, however, left him unable to wrestle in the fourth-place match.
Nelson captured a sixth-place finish at 165 pounds. Nelson looked to have a win in hand in his opening match of the day in the semifinals, owning a 5-0 lead early; but Michael Lybarger of Findlay rallied to chart a 6-5 victory. Nelson then dropped an 8-3 decision to SCSU’s Tad Merritt in the consolation semifinals before falling to North Carolina-Pembroke’s Mike Williams 6-5.
Edgington collected seventh-place honors with his 7-3 victory over SFSU’s Josh Nolan. His position in the seventh-place bout was the result of his loss in the consolation semifinals, where Nebraska-Omaha’s George Ivanov edged out a 2-1 decision via riding time.
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: Meger defeated Christopher Kochinsky (SU) 6-4 SV1
Championship: Meger vs. Trevor Franklin (UIU)
133 – Jason Jeremiason defeated Trison Graham (UCO) 6-4
WB: Jeremiason defeated Austin Williams (KU) 4-0
Semifinal: Jeremiason lost to Todd Wilcox (GCU) 1-4
Consolation Semifinals: Jeremiason defeated Jesse Cruz (WSC) 7-3
Third Place: Jeremiason defeated Ryan Link (UPJ) Fall 4:45
141 – Jay Sherer defeated Kyle Wilson (GCU) 8-5
WB: Sherer defeated Deral Brown (UNB) 3-1
Semifinals: Sherer lost to Dalton Jensen (UNK) Fall 0:17
Consolation Semi: Sherer defeated Naveed Bagheri (SFSU) 3-1
Third Place: Sherer lost Gabriel Suarez (SCSU) 2-3
149 – Nate Herda defeated Nathan Link (UPJ) 3-1
WB: Herda defeated Esai Dominguez (UNO) 6-4
Semifinals: Herda lost to TJ Hepburn (UNK) 2-4 SV1
Consolations Semi: Herda defeated John Paukovits (KU) 3-2
Third Place: Herda defeated Michell Means (FHSU) 6-4
157 – 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 lost to George Ivanov (UNO) 1-2
Seventh Place: Edgington defeated Josh Nolan (SFSU) 7-3
165 – Gavin Nelson defeated Isaiah Jimenez (SFSU) 9-1
WB: Nelson defeated Mike Williams (UNCP) 11-8
Semifinals: Nelson lost to Michael Lybarger (UF) 5-6
Consolation Semi: Nelson lost Tad Merritt (SCSU) 7-3
Fifth Place: Nelson lost to Mike Williams (UNCP) 5-6
197 – Ty Copsey defeated Shane Miller (MSC) 10-1
WB: Copsey defeated John Reed (NBU) 4-2
Semifinals: Copsey vs. Donovan McMahill (WSC) 3-5 SV1
Consolation Semi: Copsey defeated Luke McPeek (ASU) 18-7
Third Place: Copsey Forfeit to Cory Broghammer – Medical