FORT WAYNE, IND. – Wabash College held a slight lead over a tightly-packed bunch of competitors at the conclusion of the first day of the 2017 NCAA Division III Midwest Regional Championships Friday, Feb. 24.
The Little Giants tallied 61.5 points as the dust settled over the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum Expo Arena. Coach Brian Anderson's squad, entering the weekend ranked No. 21 by the National Wrestling Coaches Association, put six guys through on the championship side without a loss and had nine of their 10 individuals still alive for potential NCAA Division III national tournament qualification.
Wabash's edge stood at 4.5 points over No. 5-ranked UW-La Crosse, as the Eagles had five on the championship side without a loss on Friday and had nine of its 10 wrestlers still alive. Wheaton College of Illinois and No. 10-ranked UW-Whitewater concluded the opening day tied for third with 51 points, while Olivet College of Michigan, ranked No. 11 in the latest NWCA poll, was only a point back (50).
All three of returning individual national champions got through the first day without any casualties. 165-pounder Logan Hermsen of UW-Stevens Point and three-time defending champion Riley LeFever of Wabash were especially impressive each getting two falls in a total time of just over two minutes combined. The Little Giants' Devin Broukal, also a returning national champion after winning at 133 a year ago, got a quick fall in his first match and then was pushed to a tiebreaker by Elmhurst College's Ronnie Hauser which he maneuvered past for a slot in the semifinals.
Second day competition at the 2017 NCAA Division III Midwest Regional Championships continues Saturday, Feb. 25. Action gets underway at 10 a.m.