Sioux Falls, SD – The University of Findlay wrestling team, one of three Oilers' teams competing at NCAA Division II National Championships this weekend, had three athletes participating with hopes of taking home a title.
Junior Nick Goebel headlined the Roughnecks' day and entered the championship with a 36-4 record on the season, the best record of any wrestler in the 149 pound class. After today's two victories, Goebel needs just two wins to break the Findlay record for wins in a season. That record, currently 39, is held by Ron Lucy who wrestled from 1992-1995.
In his first bout, Goebel defeated Bradley Little of Fort Hayes St. University by a solid 10-4 decision. The next match was more tightly contested. Goebel, the number one wrestler in the country at 149 pounds, faced off against the nation's number three in John Hagerty of Maryville University. The match was all square at 1-1 through three periods and went to extra time. Goebel was able to score the takedown and pick up the sudden victory, 3-1.
With that victory, Goebel heads into the final four of the 149 pound bracket.
His next match will be against Destin McCauley of Nebraska-Kearney. Aside from Goebel, the highest ranked competitor in the final four is Jay Hildreth of Saint Cloud State. Hildreth is ranked fifth.
Junior Joey White also competed for the Roughnecks on day one and was eliminated after posting a 1-2 record in the 157-oound weight class. White lost his first round match by a 4-3 margin against Maryville's Greg Hegarty before winning 11-4 against Western State's Ian Steen. He then fell 2-1 against JaCobi Jones, the third-ranked wrestler in the nation from Colorado State-Pueblo in the consolation bracket to end his tournament.
Red-shirt freshman Alonzo Turner also posted a 1-2 mark in the 165-pound weight class and was eliminated from the tournament on day one. He lost 2-1 to Pitt-Johnstown's Tyler Reinhart in the first round before scoring a 7-3 victory against Colorado Mesa's Nick Swanson in the consolation round. Nolan Kistler of Californaia Baptist then ended Turner's tournament by winning via fall in 6:38.
Goebel will be the lone competitor left for the Roughnecks tomorrow and will be looking to secure Findlay's ninth individual national title at the NCAA Division II level.