No. 3-ranked Ashland University wrestling opened up the new year with a 1-2 record against ranked opponents at the National Wrestling Coaches Association National Duals in Fort Wayne, Ind., on Thursday (Jan. 4).
The team's top grapplers, however, will head home without a scratch on their individual records.
Sophomore Bret Romanzak (23-3, ranked No. 3 at 165 pounds) and seniors Jordan Murphy (7-0, No. 4 at 184) and Luke Cramer (8-0, No. 1 at 197) are the only Eagles to have won each National Duals match they appeared in, all going 3-0.
Cramer and Murphy are the lone AU wrestlers with an undefeated record this season, and they're aiming to become the first in program history to finish a season unbeaten with a national title. After an 11-8 win against CBU's No. 1 Nick Fiegner at the National Duals, Murphy proved that he has what it takes.
Romanzak won all three of his matches by decision, the most notable being 3-2 against No. 4 Christian Smith of the Lancers.
As a team, the Eagles lost to No. 25 Seton Hill, 21-16, and No. 10 Notre Dame (Ohio), 25-12, but bounced back against No. 4 California Baptist with a 27-14 victory.
Next up for Ashland is a dual against Division III Mount Union at Kates Gymnasium on Wednesday (Jan. 10) at 7 p.m.