By Mike Ludwig
MINNEAPOLIS – James Roach was second at 174 as the St. Olaf wrestling team finished fifth at the NCAA West Regional Championships on Saturday at Augsburg’s Si Melby Hall.
Roach won his first three bouts on the way to the title match, where he was defeated by fall. By virtue of his second place finish, Roach earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships, which will run March 15-16 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
At 125, Azariah won his first bout before losing an 18-15 decision in the quarterfinals. Azariah rallied to win three straight matches to reach the third place bout where he lost a 4-1 decision.
Carl Elmer finished fifth at 149 by virtue of a his three victories. He dropped his first match but then picked up a pin and major decision in his first two consolation matches. After a second loss, he finished with a fifth place pin over Dallas Schurg of MSOE.
Bohler (157) reached the semifinals by way of a pin in the first round and a 7-2 decision in the second round over Augsburg’s Kurt Knutsen. Bohler then lost a 9-8 decision in the final moments of his semifinal bout. He picked up a technical fall to reach the third place bout before Knutsen edged out a 4-3 decision for third.
St. Olaf heavyweight Zack Gibson reached the third place bout with two straight wins in the consolation bracket. He then lost a tie-breaker in the third place match.
The Oles’ Hugh Ellerman was 2-2 at 184, winning two of his first three bouts.