Spartans take aim at regionals

Spartans take aim at regionals

Individual and team awards are at stake at the 2018 NCAA Division III Central Region Championships Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23 and 24.

Meet details: Competition begins at 11 a.m. each day at Wabash College's Knowling Fieldhouse in Crawfordsville, Ind. … Live audio, brackets, and video are accessible over links at www.muspartans.com, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics … The top three from each weight class punch their tickets to the 2018 NCAA Division III Championships March 9 and 10 at Cleveland, Ohio … A trio featuring junior 133-pounder Ben Cauffman (Fort Wayne, Ind.), senior 141-pounder Chase Wilson (Peru, Ind.) and sophomore 149-pounder Jordan Napier (Indianapolis, Ind.) each turned in 2-2 records at last season's regional event. Chase Wilson added to his post-season history by narrowly missing out on the top eight in 2016, too.

Spartan Shorts: Coach Kevin Lake and his staff set the following line-up for the meet – 125 – Josh Stephenson, fr., Yorktown, Ind. (8-19); 133 – Cauffman (19-4); 141 – Chase Wilson (27-5); 149 – Napier (20-10); 157 – JaVon Phillips, so., Centerville, Ind. (15-10); 165 – Alex Arney, sr., Fort Wayne, Ind. (5-18); 174 – Tristan Wilson, sr., Fort Wayne, Ind. (12-15); 184 – Tyler Leonhard, fr., Portland, Ind. (5-15); 197 – Alex Roberts, sr., Campbelltown, Ind. (13-22); 285 – Nick Joyner, sr., Bedford, Ind. (6-10) … "We've been training all season (for regionals)," Lake noted. "It's time for us to go out and perform our best. I think we're at that point, as we feel very prepared for this. It's an 18-team tournament with just the top three wrestlers moving on to nationals. You can throw the records and past matches out the window, as, each year, there are surprises. We have a group of guys who feel like they can be part of the top three which is the goal. It'll be up to them this weekend to prove that though." … Cauffman, Chase Wilson, and Napier each enter regionals on a roll. Cauffman, mentioned on D3Wrestle.com's honorable mention section, has won 12 of his last 14; Wilson, ranked No. 9 by the website, is 27-3 since starting the year 0-2; and Napier, also in the honorable mention section, is 14-4 since a 6-6 beginning. Wilson's win total and winning percentage (90) lead the Black and Gold, while Cauffman is second in winning percentage (82.6), and Napier's second in triumphs. Looking more in-depth on the Spartans' statistics, Cauffman, Phillips (15), Roberts (13), Tristan Wilson (12) and sophomore heavyweight Tristin Choate (Mt. Vernon, Ind.) (11) are also in double-digit victories.

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