Ashland University's wrestling team opened its 2018-19 home schedule on Thursday (Nov. 8) night at Kates Gymnasium vs. Lourdes, and the No. 13-ranked Eagles toppled the Gray Wolves, 43-6.
"I thought we looked good," said Ashland head coach Josh Hutchens. "Where we ended the last dual, we worked on some things, we saw some improvement, and that's really where we wanted to get."
Prior to Thursday's dual, the Eagle program's three most recent NCAA Division II national champions – Michael Labry (2017) and Bret Romanzak and Luke Cramer (2018) – received their championship rings from Ashland President Dr. Carlos Campo and AU Director of Athletics Al King.
"That was a great start, with those guys getting their rings," said Hutchens, "and of course, it never turned back."
After that, the winning continued, as Ashland went 7-0 in matches not forfeited. The last three were by technical fall – Romanzak 22-4 at 165 pounds, freshman Daniel Beemer 17-1 at 184 and sophomore Tristen Weirich at 285. The last two of those came in just one period.
"One's a freshman, he comes in, he's just aggressive, looking great," Hutchens said. "Of course, Tristen, he's an athlete, and he's starting to believe it now."
Ashland won't compete at home again until Jan. 12 at 1 p.m. vs. Notre Dame College.
It is a quick turnaround for the Eagles, now 5-0 in duals on the young season, as they will compete on Sunday (Nov. 11) at the Ohio Intercollegiates in Cleveland.
"There's not a lot of rest. We've just got to stay focused," Hutchens said. "It's going to be a tough tournament on Sunday."