Ashland Wins Midwest Region Title, Five Eagles Advance To Nationals

Ashland Wins Midwest Region Title, Five Eagles Advance To Nationals

Ashland University wrestling won the NCAA Super Region II championship on Saturday (Feb. 24), its first under fifth-year head coach Josh Hutchens.

Five Eagles placed top-four, and will advance to the NCAA Division II National Championships in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, set for March 9-10.

Following the tournament, Hutchens was named the 2018 Midwest Region Coach of the Year.

Redshirt sophomore Bret Romanzak (ranked No. 3 nationally at 165 pounds), as well as redshirt seniors Jordan Murphy (No. 2 at 184) and Luke Cramer (No. 3 at 197) all won individual regional titles. Murphy and Cramer also won in 2017.

Murphy is now 21-0, and is seeking to become the first wrestler in AU history to complete a season as an undefeated national champion.

Redshirt sophomore Christian Price (No. 9 at 174) took second place, and junior Lawrance Dudgeon (133) earned fourth, rounding out the group of Eagles who will advance.

Cramer defeated the No. 10- and No. 9-ranked wrestlers at his weight class en route to his tournament victory. Murphy beat No. 4 and No. 11. Romanzak took out No. 7 and No. 11.

The Eagles scored 94.5 team points, edging out second-place Newberry by 1.5. Lake Erie placed third with 91 points.

In the previous four super regionals under Hutchens, Ashland finished second in both 2016 and 2017, third in 2015 and fourth in 2014.

AU took sixth at nationals in Birmingham, Ala., last season, its best effort since taking fourth in 2002. Murphy and Cramer garnered their first All-American honors, placing sixth and third, respectively. Michael Labry, a 133-pound senior in 2017, won the program's first individual national title since Corey Kline was a champion in 1996.