GREENVILLE, Pa.—Junior Jacob Lowry (Smithfield, Pa./Albert Gallatin) punched his ticket to the NCAA Division III Championships for the first time in his career with an individual title at the 197-pound weight class at Sunday’s NCAA Mideast Regional.
The finish earns him a spot in the March 14-15 national tournament in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Tomcats finished sixth in the team standings with 57.0 points. #3-ranked Messiah won the team title with 101.0 points, followed by Mount Union with 76.
Lowry qualified for the national tournament with a 9-8 decision over Heidelberg's Jason Russell in the semifinals before defeating Brockport State's Paul Glover by major decision (10-2) in the 197-pound championship bout.
Following a first-round bye, Lowry posted a 15-0 technical fall win in 6:11 over Muskingum's Lucas Weber in the quarterfinals to advance.
It's the first trip to the national meet for Lowry, who caps a perfect regular season, improving his record to 36-0 on the season after Sunday's 3-0 showing. Coach Craig Thurber has now had a wrestler qualify for the national tournament in each of his 11 seasons as head coach.
"Jake had a great weekend, a fantastic season and going into the NCAA's 36-0 is very impressive," Coach Thurber said. "He beat the 6th-ranked kid from Brockport State, Paul Glover in the finals. We have two weeks to work on his conditioning and some positions. He's healthy, confident, and he will be ready." Sophomore Nick Sutton (Butler, Pa./Butler) reached the 133-pound semifinals with wins by forfeit and Messiah's Kyle Coblentz, but was unable to advance any further. The Butler High school product opened with a first-round forfeit win and followed with a 5-2 decision over Coblentz in the quarters. But Sutton suffered a defeat by pinfall (4:08) to Heidelberg's Colin McDermitt in the semifinals that forced him into must-win matches in the consolation bracket. Sutton posted a 5-2 decision over Brockport State's James McCabe in the consolation semifinals, but dropped the third-place match to Baldwin Wallace's Andrew Taylor by major decision (17-6).
Freshman Robert Ritschard (Oley, Pa./Oley Valley) took fourth place at 141 pounds. Ritschard won by decision (5-0) over John Carroll's Anthony Trocchio in the first round. After suffering a quarterfinal loss, Ritschard posted three consecutive wins by decision before falling to Mount Union's Bryant Roby in the third place match.
Brandon Collins (Hadley, Pa./Commodore Perry) (157) and Sean Byham (Saegertown, Pa./Saegertown) (165) added sixth place finishes at their respective weight classes.
Lowry will spend the next two weeks preparing for the biggest tournament of his collegiate career. The Smithfield, Pa. native will square off against the best Division III wrestlers in the country on Friday, March 14, and Saturday, March 15, at the US Cellular Center.