Black and Gold sends four to regionals’ final day

Black and Gold sends four to regionals’ final day

FORT WAYNE, IND. – Manchester University managed to make some hay on the backside of the 2017 NCAA Division III Midwest Regional Championships Friday, Feb. 24.

The Spartans, who were denied at each turn from victories on the championship side of a loaded regional, did get better news on the opposite end. A quartet of sophomore 133-pounder Ben Cauffman (Fort Wayne, Ind.), junior 141-pounder Chase Wilson (Peru, Ind.), freshman 157-pounder Jordan Napier (Indianapolis, Ind.) and junior 165-pounder Tristan Wilson (Fort Wayne, Ind.) stayed alive for opportunities Saturday, Feb. 25.

Cauffman, after being major decisioned by Elmhurst College's Jordan Braun in the first round, came back and got a forfeit and a 2-0 thriller over UW-Stevens Point's Michael Bannach to reach the consolation quarterfinals where he'll face Thomas More's John Shirkey. Wilson, coming in ranked by the National Wrestling Coaches Association and D3Wrestle.com, got locked up in a doozy with UW-Whitewater's Devin Tortorice in the quarterfinals, as Tortorice used a takedown with five seconds left to win 3-1. Wilson answered the call dispatching Ohio Northern's Aidan Pierobon to remain alive in one of the tourney's most rugged weight classes. He faces off with the University of Chicago's Grant Morrison in the consolation quarterfinals.

Napier gave the University of Chicago's highly-touted Steve Bonsall a good battle in the first round, falling 9-3. He came back and knocked off North Central College of Illinois' Cam Hayes 10-7 and then won one of the day's wildest matches, needing all of his 21 points to defeat Adrian College's Dylan Steward by one point. Napier goes head-to-head with Ohio Northern's Gavin Nelson in his first match Saturday.

Tristan Wilson rallied from a first round loss by fall to topple Seth Meyer of Ohio Northern 3-1 and then get a pin over Trine University's Brandon Gay. He will face off against Davon Jackson of Olivet College of Michigan in the consolation quarterfinals.

Day two action at the 2017 NCAA Division III Midwest Regional Championships, set for Saturday, Feb. 25, begins at 10 a.m.