No 24 Roughnecks Battle at Largest DII Wrestling Tournament in the Country

By  | 

The University of Findlay wrestling team, ranked no. 24 in the country, participated on the first day of the annual Midwest Classic in Indianapolis on Saturday, Dec. 15. The event, the largest DII wrestling event in the country, is playing host to 39 teams, 38 of which compete at the NCAA Division II level. There are 16 teams ranked in the top-25 in the country in DII including no. 4 McKendree, no. 5 Upper Iowa, no. 9 Western State, no. 10 Lindenwood, no. 11 UIndy, no. 12 Newberry, no. 13 Chadron State, no. 14 Ashland, no. 15 UW-Parkside, no. 20 Gannon, no. T21 Seton Hill, no. T21 Mercyhurst, no. T21 Ouachita Baptist, no. 24 Findlay, no. T25 Lake Erie and no. T25 Newman.

Five wrestlers finished the first day with at least two wins for the Roughnecks. Leading the way was junior Nathan Vandermeer, currently ranked no. 11 in the country at 174 pounds. Vandermeer finished with a perfect 3-0 record on the first day. He began with a pin in the first round and in the second round, won by tech fall over Upper Iowa's Jordan Gundrum, ranked no. 12 in the nation. He then battled no. 6 Damon Greenwald of Seton Hill in the quarterfinals and won by an 11-8 decision to advance to his weight's semifinal.

Senior Ryan Skonieczny won his first two bouts of the day at 141 pounds, the second of which was in a tie breaker over Jason Hanenberg of Western Colorado. In his last matchup of the day, Skonieczny lost a 4-0 decision to no. 7 Chandler Minnard of Ashland.
Also going 2-1 on the day was junior James Wimer at 157 pounds who had a pin in his first matchup and followed that up with a nail-biter, 8-7 victory in round two. His quarterfinal matchup was against no. 2 in the country Tyler Mann over Ouachita Baptist. Wimer and Mann battled to a close 8-5 decision in favor of the nation's number two.
At 184 pounds, senior Armani Robinson also finished 2-1 on the day. He, like Skonieczny and Wimer, won his first two bouts of the day. Robinson won in the first round with a 7-3 decision and in round two, took down Brody Conner of UIndy, ranked no. 4 in the country, by a score of 5-3. Robinson dropped his quarterfinal match by a score of 7-1.

Ranked no. 3 in the country at 149 pounds, senior Josh Wimer went 2-2 on the first day. After a 7-0 blanking of Phil Ruiz of Limestone in the first round, Wimer fell to Marian University's Noah Warren in round two. Wimer came back with a hard-fought 7-6 decision over Nick McGhee of Maryville in the consolation bracket, but his day ended with a 15-13 loss to Max Bruss of Mary.