FINDLAY, OHIO - Newberry had a strong showing on day one of the NCAA Division II Super Region Tournament. Newberry sit at the top spot in the midwest bracket, with five Wolves undefeated heading into the final day.
Austin Neal (125 pounds), Isiah Royal (141), Austin Palmer (157) and Patton Gossett (285) each went undefeated on the day and will compete in the semi-finals round tomorrow. At 133 lbs., Nolan Whitely will compete for the first place spot in his weight class. The top four finishers in each weight class will each advance to the NCAA Division II Tournament in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Neal was awarded a bye through the first round before taking out his opponent of University of Indianapolis, D.J. Smith. Tomorrow’s bout will pit Neal against Sebastian Vidika of Ashland University. He faced off against Vidika back in January at the Super Region 2 Dual’s, where he dropped the match 17-0.
Royal went 1-0 on the afternoon, going up against Bryan LaVearn of Tiffin. Royal was able to edge past LaVearn in a 12-11 decision win. He will face UINDYs’ Nick Crume, with a chance to move on to the finals. Crume currently ranks fifth in the latest NCAA DII WCA Individual rankings.
Palmer, the junior from West Columbia, S.C. saw his match go into overtime against Beau Minnick of Tiffin. Going into the overtime period neck-in-neck, Palmer came up with the takedown to essentially move on to the next round. He moves on to the semi-finals round where he will face Erick Milks of UNC Pembroke. Palmer won the last matchup with Milks on Feb. 9, where the two went into sudden victory.
At 285 lbs., Gossett would shut out his competition 14-0 in the semi-finals, after receiving a bye the first round. He went up against Coker’s Robert Parland, who he demolished 10-3 the last time the two competed. With an escape in the second period, Gossett recorded three consecutive four-nearfalls and riding time to seal the deal.
Whitely will seal his fate tomorrow in the finals against the winner of the bout, featuring Airk Furseth and Dustin Kirk. He started off his day with a win against Richetshaye Puente of Tiffin. Whitely followed the victory with a win by fall against Jayquon McEntyre. The last time Whitely and Furseth met, he fell in a tight 8-7 race at the Midwest Classic. Fourth-ranked Kirk and Whitely met just three weeks ago when he clipped him 3-2 in Bristol, Tenn.
Three other Wolves are still in the running to make the trip to Cedar Rapids, despite falling earlier in the day. Joey Rocca (174), Alex Rice (165), and Tyler Wicken (149) can all advance to the national tournament by continuing through the consolation bracket to secure a third- or fourth-place finish.
The Wolves ended in first place out of 13 teams to accumulate 52.5 points on the day. The Wolves will conclude their stay in Findlay with the final day of wrestling tomorrow. Matches begin at 11:00 a.m.