Maroon wrestlers invade the semifinals at day one of NCAA Midwest Regional

Kahlan Lee-Lermer, Steve Bonsall, Paul Papoutsis and Jason Lynch
Kahlan Lee-Lermer, Steve Bonsall, Paul Papoutsis and Jason Lynch

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The University of Chicago wrestling team qualified four wrestlers in their respective weight class semifinals at the conclusion of the first day of the NCAA Midwest Regional on Friday.

The 16-team regional is hosted by Manchester University. Eight Maroons wrestlers entered the fray and half of them went 2-0 to reach the semis.

Freshman Kahlan Lee-Lermer (141 pounds) won his opening match with a pin and then went to extra time to pull out a sudden-victory decision in the quarterfinals. Freshman Steve Bonsall earned a pair of decisions, 9-3 and 5-3, at 157 pounds. Senior Paul Papoutsis shut out his opening 174-pound opponent 11-0 and then pulled out the 7-5 decision in the following match. At 184 pounds, sophomore Jason Lynch tallied two decisions by scores of 13-8 and 9-2.

Freshman Grant Morrison is also still alive in the 141-pound consolation bracket. After earning a technical fall in the first round, he lost his quarterfinal match 8-2 before rallying back in the next bout to score another technical fall.

Sophomore Patrick Mulkerin (285 pounds) and junior Nicholas DiNapoli (165 pounds) each went 1-2 on the day. Sophomore John Jayne lost both his matches at 197 pounds.

"It was a pretty good first day – we got four to the semifinals and three of them weren't seeded to be there," Head Coach Leo Kocher said. "Paul entered this tournament unseeded with only six matches under his belt and he scored the biggest upsets of the day. Jason beat a returning All-American in his quarterfinal match. We've got some tough matches tomorrow – two first seeds and two second seeds – for our four semifinalists. No matter what, we have to keep our focus because the top three in each weight class qualify for the NCAAs. If you get bumped into the consolation rounds, you can still qualify."

NEXT MEET:

  • Saturday, Feb. 25 @ 10:00 AM (ET) – UChicago at NCAA Midwest Regional (Fort Wayne, Ind.)