McKendree wins program's first regional title

ST. CHARLES, Mo. -- The McKendree University men's wrestling program won their first-ever NCAA regional title in program history earlier Saturday evening, all while setting a program record for individual regional champions in a season with four different Bearcats winning their respective weight classes. A total of seven McKendree men's wrestlers advance to the NCAA National Championships, which take place on Friday and Saturday March 8 and 9 in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Bearcats were the outright victors in Saturday's regional competition, accumulating 135 total team points. Bearcat wrestlers Isaiah Kemper (Evansville, Ind./Central) (149 lb), Daniel Filipek (Warrenton, MO/Warrenton) (165 lb), Nick Foster (Belleville, IL/Belleville West) (174 lb), and Ryan Vasbinder (Grand Rapids, MI/Grandville) (197 lb) each sat atop their respective podiums, giving McKendree the most first-place finishes out of any other school competing the the Midwest Super Region IV. Along with the four first place finishers, three other Bearcats will be heading to the national stage after Marcus Povlick (Plainfield, IL/Plainfield North) finished in third in the 125 lb class, Nate Smalling (Belleville, Ill./Belleville West) finished in second in the 157 lb class, and Michael Pixley (Granite City, IL) finished in second in the 184 lb class.

Below are the full team score from Saturday's competition:

1. McKendree (135.0)
2. Lindenwood (123.5)
3. Maryville (120.5)
4. Central Oklahoma (111.0)
5. Newman (81.0)
6. Fort Hays State (72.0)
7. Central Missouri (43.5)
8. Drury (25.5)
8. Ouachita Baptist (25.5)
10. Truman State (17.0)
11. Kentucky Wesleyan (0.0)

The Bearcats will be back on the mat at the 2019 NCAA Division II National Championships on March 8 and 9 in Cleveland, Ohio.


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