Three University of Indianapolis wrestlers earned a trip to the NCAA Division II National Wrestling Championships this past weekend at the NCAA Super Regional No. 2 Tournament, as redshirt junior Josh Kieffer, redshirt freshman Nick Crume and sophomore Shelden Struble each placed inside the top four of their weight class. UIndy as a team placed ninth of 14 teams that competed at the tournament with 54 points, while Newberry College claimed its program’s seventh regional title with 99 points.
Headed into this past weekend, Head Wrestling Coach Jason Warthan said that he wanted to find success for the Greyhound wrestlers who competed at the regional tournament.
“The goal is always to send as many guys to nationals as possible,” he said. “In other sports, the regular season matters. For us, it is how you do at regionals.”
Kieffer also held that same expectation for himself, saying that his “goal is to win super regionals.”
Although the Greyhounds did not advance as a team, Kieffer, along with Crume and Struble, will be moving on, making this his third trip in three seasons at UIndy. After finishing first in the 125 lb. weight class, Kieffer became just the 10th wrestler in program history to compete at the national wrestling championships.
Struble earned his second trip to the national wrestling championships, after emerging victorious in a true fourth place match over the No. 2 seeded wrestler in the 165 lb. weight class. In order to reach that point, Struble opened with an upset victory over the No. 1 seeded wrestler, before taking a loss in the semifinals against the eventual champion of the weight class.
In the consolation semifinal match, Struble was victorious again, but fell in the championship round in a rematch with the No. 1 seed, which sent him to the true fourth-place match, where he claimed his bid.
Despite falling in the championship round at 133 lbs., Crume will be advancing to the national wrestling championships as well, which will be the redshirt-freshman’s first trip in his college career.
Although the Greyhounds sent just three wrestlers to the national wrestling championships this season, Warthan said that he also wanted to use the regionals this year as a teaching moment.
“This will be great experience for the underclassmen,” he said. “I told them this may be their best opportunity, so make the most of it.”
One of those young wrestlers, sophomore Barry McGinley, took the opportunity his coach spoke of to place sixth in his bracket at 157.
McGinley advanced all the way to the semifinal match before suffering his first loss of the tournament, and then fell once more in the semifinal round of the consolation bracket.
UIndy will now prepare to send three of its own to the national championships, which will begin March 13 at 10 a.m.