MINNEAPOLIS – Three members of the University of Chicago wrestling team qualified for the NCAA Division III Championships after securing top-three finishes at the NCAA Upper Midwest Regional on Saturday.
The two-day regional hosted by Augsburg University featured a total of 30 NCAA qualifiers. The top three finishers in each of the 10 weight classes earned a bid to the national meet.
Ben Sarasin started Saturday action in the semifinals at 184 pounds. He reached the championship match via 8-3 decision, then took second in the bracket after taking a medical forfeit in the final. The sophomore qualified for NCAA nationals for the second-straight year.
Steve Bonsall will make his second career trip to the NCAA Championships after placing third at 157 pounds. After dropping a 9-0 major decision in the semis, the Maroon senior knocked off his next opponent 5-2 in overtime. He then controlled the third-place match with a 10-2 major decision.
Rookie Cole Fibranz suffered a tough 7-5 loss in overtime of his 285-pound semifinal match. But he bounced back with a pin in the consolation half. In the third-place match, Fibranz punched his ticket to nationals with a 3-2 victory.
First-year Ryan Fleck (141 pounds) and junior Will Britain (165 pounds) each placed sixth in their respective weight classes. First-year Griffin Seyfried took seventh at 133 pounds, pinning his opponent in the final seconds of his last bout.
"This tournament is above all else the means to qualify for the Division III Nationals field," said Head Coach Leo Kocher. "Three of our guys were seeded to do so and each of them did. We also had some notable moments from other team members. Will Britain took the eventual 165-pound champion into overtime before losing 9-7. Unseeded first-year Griffin Seyfried lost 3-2 to a two-time NCAA All-American in the quarterfinals and eventually placed seventh. Considering we were without All-American Kyle Peisker, it was a strong team performance."
- Friday-Saturday, Mar. 13-14 – UChicago at NCAA Championships (at Cedar Rapids, Iowa)