Ashland University's wrestling team had a very successful 2014-15 home debut at the Simonson Open on Saturday (Nov. 22), as four Eagles won their weight class and nine placed overall.
"Overall, it was a real good day for us," said Ashland head coach Josh Hutchens. "I was not happy with every outcome. We had the four champs. It was a much tougher tournament this year. It was pretty impressive."
The best showing for AU came at 197 pounds, where redshirting senior Joe Brandt won the title, sophomore Brandon O'Neill came in second and redshirting senior Bryson Hall placed third. Brandt defeated O'Neill in the championship match by an 11-2 major decision.
At 133 pounds, junior Michael Labry continued his strong start to the season with his second open title. Labry, the defending Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Wrestler of the Week, defeated Hermilo Esquivel of Michigan State by an 8-0 major decision in the first-place match.
"It seems like he's getting better every week," Hutchens said of Labry. "He's already pretty good."
Junior Kurt Schaefer took the title at 184 pounds following a 4-1 win over Ohio's Gabriel Dzuro in the title match.
"(He) really dominated the guy," Hutchens said. "He was winning, and still was chasing him."
Sophomore Luke Cramer won the title at 174 pounds after Michigan State's Kevin Nash took an injury default.
Ashland will return to the mat on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. in a dual at Kates Gymnasium against Mercyhurst.
"We have some weights we still need to figure out," said Hutchens. "We're going to use these results to determine the starters for Mercyhurst.
"If we keep doing what we're doing, it's going to be a good year."