Ashland University redshirt sophomore Tristen Weirich ended Saturday's (Jan. 12) dual against Notre Dame College at Kates Gymnasium with a bang, beating the nation's No. 1 285-pound grappler Kameron Teacher, 10-4.
"For a year, we have been trying to tell Tristen how tough he is. If he believes it, he's going to be unstoppable, and I think he believed it that match," said Ashland wrestling head coach Josh Hutchens.
Weirich had a simple goal for himself heading into the dual.
"Be calm. That was it. Keeping my right leg back and just stay calm," said Weirich.
"That's a huge win. That guy is a two-time national finalist and ranked No. 1 in the country," said Hutchens. "Tristen's region has the top three heavyweights in the country, and he knows it. We only take three out of regionals. You have to be a guy in the top three in the country to get out of the region…well, he just beat the No. 1, and next weekend, he's got a chance at the No. 3. He worked hard all summer, and it's showing out there."
For Weirich and Hutchens, it is important not to look too far ahead.
"This is one match," said Hutchens. "You have to do it again at regionals, and you have to do it again at nationals."
"No matter who I beat, I try to keep my confidence at the same level," said Weirich. "I don't want to get too big for my britches and then not perform like I should."
The No. 17-ranked Eagles were only able to pick up two other wins on the day, and ultimately fell to Notre Dame, 30-9.
Redshirt junior Bret Romanzak earned a 4-2 overtime decision at 165-pounds. Romazak got down early before he fought back to even the score, and swiftly took the win in the extra period.
Freshman Daniel Beemer came out of a cannon at 184 pounds and didn't look back. Beemer got up on his opponent, Emilio Fowler, early and held on for the 8-2 decision.
"He always comes out with a lot of confidence," said Hutchens. "That's one of the great things about Beemer, he comes out like a tornado. He's got some technical things to work on, but he wrestles hard and that's all we're asking for."
The tough matchup with the No. 3-ranked Falcons of Notre Dame provided Ashland with a good understanding of where its sits at this point in the season.
"Overall, I think that we're close," said Hutchens. "We have to get in better shape still, we have to get tougher, and we have to work on a few technical things, but we have to just get over that hump of almost beating that guy. We want to be a great team, and we're almost there"
The Eagles will grapple next on Saturday (Jan. 19) at the Greyhound Duals in Indianapolis, Ind.