Yes Ty, There Is A Virginia
Senior Ty Johnson made sure his career wouldn’t end at the Upper Midwest Regional Meet as he came up with an electrifying pin in the second period in his semifinal match at 149 and qualified for the NCAA National Meet.
Johnson was one of four Cobbers to finish in the Top 5 at the regional and CC placed six of its 10 wrestlers in the Top 8. Concordia finished with 69.5 total team points and placed seventh out of 17 schools at the meet. Both numbers show improvement for a year ago when the Cobbers ended the region meet with 49.5 points and was tied for 10th place.
Johnson needed to rally to earn his ticket to the NCAA Meet. He fell behind 3-0 to Cole Riemer from the University of Chicago – the weight class’ top seed – early in the second period. Unflappable as ever, the senior worked his way to a tight upper body hold before throwing Riemer to his back and securing the fall.
For Johnson it was a big moment of vindication as he came up just short of qualifying for nationals last season.
Johnson would ultimately wind up as the second-place finisher in the region. As a result, he will make his second appearance at the national tournament where he will work to become Concordia’s first All-American since 2016. As he always seems to do, Johnson had fun with the experience, and he mentioned that he eagerly awaits the opportunity to run it back in a few weeks at nationals.
Two other Cobbers came up just short of the third-place mark necessary to earn a spot in the national meet. Sophomore 125-pounder Jake Nohre and freshman 285-pounder Noah Carter each earned fourth-place honors.
Nohre provided one of the biggest thrills of the meet for the Concordia faithful in the consolation semifinals when he scored 11 points on his way to an upset of returning national runner-up Carlos Fuentez of Wheaton College.
Carter demonstrated tremendous heart throughout the tournament. After a first-round loss to the eventual champion from UW-La Crosse, Carter stormed into the third-place match with four straight victories – including a win over Jordan Lemcke from UW-Oshkosh which avenged an early-season loss. In the end, only two seconds of riding time kept Carter from victory in the third-place match. He ended up losing in the ultimate tie breaker after the two wrestlers went through three periods of overtime deadlocked at 3-3. Carter recorded four wins in the two days and tied for the most region victories on the team over the weekend. Carter’s fourth-place finish also came after he started the tournament unseeded.
Senior Travis Deegan was the fourth Cobber to finish in the Top 5. Deegan’s journey to the national tournament ended with a loss to two-time All-American Mark Choinski of UW-Oshkosh. The Concordia 165-pounder still earned four wins on the weekend, including two on Saturday. Deegan demonstrated the same grit that he has displayed throughout his Cobber wrestling career as his two Saturday wins came by way of a last-second regulation takedown and a sudden victory overtime takedown.
Freshman Bret Wilson and sophomore Benjamin Bogart were the final members of Concordia who finished on top of the podium. Wilson placed eighth in the 141-pound weight class and was matched by Bogart who earned eighth place at 133 pounds.
UP NEXT: Johnson’s second NCAA National Meet run will begin March 8 in Roanoke, Va. He will look to become the first Cobber All-American since 2016 and the 15th Cobber All-American since 2010.
NCAA Upper Midwest Regional – Place Winners for Concordia
125 – Jake Nohre – 4th place
133 – Benjamin Bogart – 8th place
141 – Bret Wilson – 8th place
149 – Ty Johnson – 2nd place
165 – Travis Deegan – 5th place
285 – Noah Carter – 4th place