No. 3 Ashland Welcoming D-III’s No. 10 Mount Union

No. 3 Ashland Welcoming D-III’s No. 10 Mount Union

In most sports, the leap from one division to the next is a significant one.

In wrestling, it's common that teams from a lower level of competition can compete with those at a higher level.

On Wednesday (Jan. 10) at 7 p.m., Division II's No. 3-ranked Ashland University wrestling team will face Division III's No. 10 Mount Union at Kates Gymnasium.

The Eagles (2-3) have a nationally-ranked wrestler at eight of the 10 weight classes. The Purple Raiders, unbeaten in eight duals this season, have three men ranked nationally.

"You'll see some D-III guys come out and beat guys that could win D-II nationals," Ashland head coach Josh Hutchens said. "We recruit against a lot of these Division III schools, and a lot of them are pulling in talented wrestlers. Mount Union is going to have a lot of guys on its team that we tried to get here, and vice versa."

At 141 pounds, AU's No. 9 senior Bob Mason (6-3) will matchup against No. 8 senior Alec Cotton (19-3).

No. 3 Ashland sophomore Bret Romanzak vs. No. 10 senior Jordan Gross (20-2) will be the matchup at 165.

The 184-pound bout will be the last of the ranked matchups, as Eagles No. 4 senior Jordan Murphy (7-0) will compete against No. 8 sophomore Isaiah Watson-Kirksey (15-4).

Prior to the college dual, Ashland High School will take on Westlake.

"A big part of the Division II model is the community involvement," Hutchens said. "We want the local high schools and youth programs to come in here and be part of our program. It's a way to bridge that gap between the college and high school. It's a win-win for everybody."

Freshmen Sid Ohl (7-3, 157 pounds) and Tristen Weirich (10-6, 285) are the current AU wrestlers who used to compete for the Arrows. Ohl will be making his collegiate dual debut on Wednesday, and Weirich will have the night off.