By: Dylan DeWitt
The Roughnecks of Findlay, ranked 15th in the NCAA Division II polls, are coming off an impressive win against the #4 Ashland wrestling team. With the victory over the Eagles, the Oilers were able to move up in the standings going into the Midwest Super Regional Championships. What better way to keep up their momentum as they host the championship this weekend.
The night began against Ashland as what would prove to be a challenging few matches for the Oilers. Competing at home, though, the wrestlers had a sense of urgency to take down their opponents. With that mentality, the Roughnecks took down a #4 Ashland team, 23-18. The team saw victories from Michael Stewart at 133, Ryan Skonieczny at 141, Josh Wimer by a pin at 149, and Gerald Beck at 285. Another victory from Bradley Metz, the fifth ranked wrestler in the nation at 184, came by tech fall.
The biggest victory of the night came with Armani Robinson over Luke Cramer. Cramer, the number one ranked wrestler in the 197 weight class, came into the match 17-0 on the year. Robinson, a junior from Jamestown, Oh., triumphantly took down Cramer giving him his first loss on the year.
Moving along from Ashland in the dual match, in addition to another dual victory over Tiffin University, the Oilers continue to take big strides into the postseason. Senior Wrestler Alonzo Turner says it has been a learning experience to improve on individual skills along with growing as a team throughout the entire season. Turner has been battling season injuries, but is one of the top wrestlers in the nation in his respected weight class.
“The Ashland win was a big step going forward for us, it was a good bounce back for the team. A lot of guys really stepped up and wrestled to their full potential,” said Turner. “I think that showed where we are standing as a team, and if we go out there and wrestle hard, one match at a time, things fall together.”
With the Super Regional Championships beginning, the postseason grind begins for the Roughnecks. Super Regionals will be hosted by Findlay at the Koehler Center. Competition begins this Friday, Feb. 23rd and lasts until Saturday. There will be live video and updates throughout the multiple sessions each day.
Turner says this is what the team has been waiting for in order to complete a season-long goal of their own.
“We have one goal this season and that is to be National Champions,” stated Turner.
Last year, the Roughnecks placed eighth at the National Championships, and gained plenty of experience in order to make it there once more and compete for the national title.