Mercer wrestling finishes strong
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On March 6, Mercer Wrestling traveled to Daytona, Fla., for the National Collegiate Wrestling Association’s national competition. For the second year in a row, Derek Wojcik and Charlie Farr earned all-American status. Last year, Charlie took seventh place at the 285-lb weight class. This year, he moved down two weight classes and moved up two spaces on the podium, taking fifth place at 197 lbs. Derek, after winning in the first round of wrestling but losing in the second round, fought through the consolations and won three more matches to guarantee his eighth-place spot on the podium. Nick Wright and Jeffrey Holmes each won their first matches, lost their second matches, won two matches in the consolations, and lost in the “blood round.” They were both one win away from all-American status. Other match winners for Mercer were Johnny Miller, Chris Coney, and Hunter Allen. As a team, Mercer placed 16th in the nation.
The team’s journey to nationals began in Orlando, Florida, at the conference tournament on February 24th . Leading the way for Mercer were Derek Wojcik and Charlie Farr. Derek won four matches on his way to his first conference title, and Charlie won 5 matches to win his second consecutive conference title. Nick Wright and Jeffrey Holmes were both runner-ups. Johnny Miller and Chris Coney took fifth place, Hunter Allen and Mike Myers took sixth, and Zach Massey took seventh. Mercer placed third as a team with nine national qualifiers.
It was a tough year in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association. In addition to strong teams such as California Baptist and the Apprentice School returning from last year, Liberty, who recently lost their NCAA D1 program, and NAIA powerhouse Notre Dame, Lindenwood St. Charles and Lindenwood Bellville all joined the association. Despite the higher level of competition, the Mercer wrestling team managed an even more impressive finish than last year.
Next year’s team is looking solid. The current wrestlers continue to improve, and there is a strong incoming freshman class. The Mercer wrestling team is shooting for a top three finish at National Duals, and a top five finish at the traditional national tournament. Anyone interested in wrestling should contact Kevin Andres at [email protected] . Both experienced and new wrestlers are welcome to participate.