FORT WAYNE, IND. – Seven NCAA Division III national meet berths, a team trophy and all three special awards took a southern journey home to Crawfordsville, Ind., Saturday, Feb. 25.
After being locked in an intense battle with the likes of UW-La Crosse, UW-Whitewater, Olivet College of Michigan and Wheaton College of Illinois, the Little Giants sent a decisive message to the remainder of the regional field and to their opponents at the 2017 NCAA Division III Championships. That was simply one of a force to be reckoned with after tallying 132 points and defeating one of the strongest NCAA Division III Midwest Regional fields in recent memory by 32 points.
When the awards ceremony ended inside Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, Wabash, ranked No. 20 on the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III poll, had 133-pounder Owen Doster, 141-pounder Devin Broukal, 149-pounder Griffin Schermer, 157-pounder Nick Bova, 165-pounder Connor Brummett, 174-pounder Darden Schurg, and 197-pounder Riley LeFever making plans for the La Crosse Convention Center March 10 and 11. LeFever, who's amazing career run resumed over the two-day regional, was tabbed Outstanding Wrestler; head coach Brian Anderson earned Coach of the Year honors; and assistant coach Danny Irwin was named Assistant Coach of the Year.
The national champion host Eagles ended second (102), while Olivet was a narrow third (98.5). Top-seeded Dustin Weinmann continued his unbeaten season for UW-La Crosse, winning the 141-pound title, while 174-pounder Richard Carlson was also atop the awards podium. The Comets concluded the tourney with one champion, as top-seeded 149-pounder Austin Kelley claimed the title.