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No. 7 Wrestling Places Seventh at NWCA Duals

Junior Dalton Leightner (Photo Courtesy of Tim Tushla)
Junior Dalton Leightner (Photo Courtesy of Tim Tushla)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The No. 7 nationally-ranked Baldwin Wallace University Yellow Jacket wrestling team placed seventh of 22 teams at the prestigious National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III National Duals, inside the Kentucky Expo Center. This is the fourth year in a row that BW has secured a Top-8 finish at the nationals duals.

#7 BW vs #10 North Central (Ill.):  Second Round

BW (8-3 overall, 1-1 Ohio Athletic Conference) defeated North Central by a score of 23-18. After dropping the first three matches, junior two-time All-OAC and Academic All-OAC 149-pounder Stanley Bleich (North Ridgeville/Elyria Catholic) secured a 6-2 decision to cut North Central's early lead to 12-3. Junior 165-pounder Dalton Leightner (Ravenna/Rootstown) claimed a 16-0 tech fall to bring the score to 12-8. Establishing BW's first lead of 14-12 was senior All-OAC 174-pounder Benjamin Hooff (Worthingon/Thomas Worthington) with a 4:05 pin. Freshman 184-pounder Luke Salmon (Sandusky/Perkins) secured back-to-back pins(1:49) to give the Yellow Jackets a 20-12 advantage. Sophomore heavyweight Parker Meaney (Ashtabula/Lake) seized a 6-4 decision to secure BW's 23-18 victory.

# 7 BW vs #2 Wartburg (Iowa):  Quarterfinals

The Yellow Jackets suffered a 21-20 loss to Wartburg. Freshman 125-pounder Jack Stanley (Brecksville / Brecksville-Broadview Heights) opened the match with a 3-0 decision over the No. 5 individually-ranked Brady Kyner. No. 3 individually-ranked Senior All-American and Academic All-OAC 141-pounder Charlie Nash (Norwalk) captured a 5-2 decision to extend the Yellow Jacket lead to 6-0. No.4 Bleich claimed a 5-3 decision over No 5 Brock Rathburn to reestablish a 9-6 BW advantage.  Giving the Yellow Jackets a 14-6 lead was Leightner, who defeated No. 10 Martine Sandoval with a 23-6 technical fall. At 174, Salmon secured a 7-4 decision to extend the lead to 17-12. After dropping the 184lb bout, senior All-American and two-time All-OAC 197-pounder Zeckary Lehman (Akron/Revere) seized an 8-3 decision over No. 4 Kobe Woods.

# 7 BW vs #2 Mount Union: Consolation Quarterfinals

BW took down Mount by a score of 25-18. After a Mount Union pin in the opening bout, No. 3 Nash defeated No. 10 David Massey with a 2-0 decision to trim the lead back to 6-3. Leightner was the next Yellow Jacket victor, as he earned a 22-4 tech fall to bring the score to 13-8, Purple Raiders. Hooff established the first lead of 14-13 for BW after a 2:24 pin. Salmon extended the lead to 17-13 with an 8-5 decision in the following bout. Freshman 197-pounder Doug Byrne (Wickliffe) managed a 13-2 major decision victory to extend the lead to 21-13. Lehman followed with a 15-2 major decision to bring the lead to 25-13. Mount Union won the heavyweight bout but it was not enough as BW walked away with the 25-18 victory.

# 7 BW vs #6 Coe (Iowa): Consolation Semifinals

After dropping the initial bout, Nash seized a 7-6 decision to tie the match up at 3 apiece. Bleich earned a 12-4 major decision to give BW a 7-6 lead. Leightner secured a 5-0 decision over the No. 6 individually-ranked Cole Erickson to extend the lead to 10-6. Extending the lead to 13-6 with a 3-2 decision was Hooff. The Yellow Jackets dropped the match to Coe, 21-13.

# 7 BW vs #14 New York University:  Seventh/ Eighth Place Match

Freshman 125-pounder Jack Stanley (Brecksville / Brecksville-Broadview Heights) opened the match with a 5-2 decision before junior 133-pounder Chad Craft (Dayton/Northmont) pinned the following opponent in 2:18. Senior 141-pounder Aaron Kelly (Rocky River) won his bout by way of a 6-2 decision to extend BW's lead to 9-0. After a forfeit for Bleich, Leightner secured a 5-4 decision. Freshman 184-pounder Doug Byrne (Wickliffe) was granted a forfeit before freshman 197-pounder Griffin Rathburn (New Albany/Bishop Hartley) claimed an 8-6 decision. The Yellow Jackets dropped the final bout but emerged with the 30-12 victory.

NUWAY College Open Tournament

Rathburn was the highest place finisher for BW as he placed fourth. After a first-round bye he fell in the second-round to a 3-1 sudden victory. In consolations, he managed seven victories with two pins and one within 28 seconds.

The Yellow Jackets will be back in action on the road when they travel to University Heights to face Ohio Athletic Conference and Cleveland cross-town rival John Carroll University in the Tony DeCarlo Center at 7 p.m.