Wabash captured the team title at the 2019 NCAA Division III Wrestling Central Regional on Saturday. Six Little Giant wrestlers earned top-three individual places in the tourney to earn qualifying spots at the national championship meet to be held March 8 and 9 in Roanoke, Virginia.
Wabash captured the team title among the 19 teams in the tourney with a total of 156.5 points, finishing ten points ahead of Baldwin Wallace in second place with 146.5 points. Mount Union placed third in the team standings with a score of 144 points.
The Little Giants placed all ten entries in top-eight spots in the finals. Kyle Hatch captured the individual title at 165 pounds. Hatch, a 2018 All-American, returns to the national tournament after posting a pair of victories on Saturday. He needed just 35 seconds to pin Mount Union's Michael McIntire to advance to the finals. Hatch won the weight class title with a 10-6 victory over Anthony Arroyo from Baldwin Wallace in the finals.
Darden Schurg, another 2018 All-American for Wabash, will compete in Roanoke at the championship tournament after placing second at 174 pounds. He scored a pin of Clayton Davidson from Ohio Northern in the semifinal round before retiring from the tournament to earn the second-place finish.
Wade Ripple placed second at 285 pounds to earn a trip to the national tournament. After earning two pins in Friday's first round, Ripple added a third pin in his semifinal bout versus Nick Joyner from Manchester at the 4:35 mark of their match. Ripple lost to Drew Kasper from Otterbein in the finals to place second overall.
Jared Timberman earned a second-place finish at 157 pounds. He defeated Richard Burke from Baldwin Wallace 7-4 in the semifinal round before losing a tight 8-6 decision to Antwon Pugh from Mount Union in the finals.
Carlos Champagne captured third place in the 125-pound weight class. The freshman lost an overtime match to Dante Ginnetti from Baldwin Wallace, the Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament. Ginnetti sent Champagne to the consolation bracket by a score of 6-4 in a sudden victory win. Champagne rallied to post a 15-1 major decision over Nolan Wochna from Mount Union in the consolation semifinals before defeating Andrew Perelka 8-7 in the finals to grab the final berth at 125 pounds from the Central Regional to the national championship tournament.
Owen Doster is headed back to the national tournament for the third consecutive season by finishing in third place in the 133-pound weight class at the regional. A 2017 All-American, Doster opened Saturday's semifinal round with a 3-2 loss before posting a 9-5 win in the consolation semifinals over Reese Wallis from Olivet. Doster defeated Jackson Lakso from Otterbein 9-8 in the finals for the third-place finish.
Wabash head coach Brian Anderson was voted the National Wrestling Coaches Association Regional Tournament Head Coach of the Year. Josh Hardman earned NWCA Assistant Coach of the Year honors.