Five Ashland University wrestlers have advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Division II Super Regional II tournament following Day 1 action on Friday (Feb. 27) in Pembroke, N.C.
- At 133 pounds, junior Michael Labry, the super region's top-ranked wrestler and the nation's second-ranked grappler at that weight, won his two Friday matches by pin and technical foul, and is 37-1 this season. The two-time All-American will face Joseph Her of Wisconsin-Parkside (26-6) in the semifinals.
- At 149, sophomore Brent Fickel, the eighth-ranked wrestler in the super region, also was 2-0 on Friday, winning by pin and by decision. Fickel (16-5) will take on Zach Vargo of Lake Erie in the semis.
- At 157, junior Zeb Beam, ranked second in the super region, won by major decision and decision to improve to 13-9 on the season. He will wrestle Barry McGinley of Indianapolis in the semis.
- At 184, junior Kurt Schaefer, ranked fourth in the super region, started Friday advancing on a bye, then he won by decision to get to the semis against Terrence Smith of Shorter. Schaefer is 26-9.
- And at 197, sophomore Brandon O'Neill, also ranked fourth in the super region, took two decisions to advance to the semis, where he will meet Pembroke's Huston Evans. O'Neill is 25-6.
Sophomore Luke Cramer is in the consolation bracket at 174 pounds, having gone 2-1 on Friday. Cramer (15-9) is ranked third in the super region, and will need to win two more matches to finish in the top four and three more matches to place third.
The top four placers in each weight class will qualify for the NCAA Division II Championships, March 13-14 in St. Louis, Mo.
As a team, the Eagles are third with 42.5 points. Lake Erie leads the way with 58 points, followed by Newberry with 57.
Day 2 of the Super Regional will take place on Saturday (Feb. 28), starting at 10 a.m.