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UCO Rolls To Midwest Title

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 18) – Dylan Lucas capped off a dominating weekend by capturing the 133-pound championship and winning Outstanding Wrestler honors in leading Central Oklahoma to a record-setting performance at the 43rd Midwest Classic Sunday.

Lucas was joined atop the podium by 197 Dalton Abney and Hvy Shawn Streck and all 10 individuals placed in the top six for the No. 3-ranked Bronchos, who racked up a tournament-record 178.5 points in claiming the prestigious title for the second straight year.

UCO breezed to a staggering 83.5-point victory in the largest regular-season tournament in NCAA Division II, which featured 17 top-25 teams in the huge 43-team field. No. 6 Pittsburgh-Johnstown finished second with 95 points, followed by No. 4 Lander (92), unranked Colorado School of Mines (87.5) and No. 11 Wisconsin-Parkside (79.5). 

The Bronchos also got runner-up finishes from 157 Gabe Johnson and 184 Anthony DesVigne, while 165 Ty Lucas came in third, 125 Studd Morris and 174 Tre’Vaughn Craig fifth and 141 Nate Keim and 149 Brik Filippo sixth.

“I’m really proud of this team,” head coach Todd Steidley said. “We set a team record for scoring in the tournament and having all 10 guys in the top six is a great accomplishment. Our guys wrestled great and I’m really proud of them.

“It was a lot of fun and we showed a lot of heart. We’re excited about the momentum we have headed to the Christmas break and we think it’s really going to help us going into the National Duals here in a few weeks.”

It was quite a performance in the final event of the first semester for the Bronchos. UCO finished the two-day event with a 43-12 record, including 22 bonus-point wins.

Dylan Lucas was the catalyst, going 5-0 with four bonus wins and a 9-2 finals victory. The eighth-seeded sophomore knocked off the Nos. 1, 2 and 5 seeds in his final three matches, scoring first-period falls in two of those bouts.

Lucas, who pinned top-seeded Collin Metzger of Colorado Metzger in Saturday’s quarterfinals, opened Sunday’s action against fifth-seeded Eric Bartos of Mercyhurst and ended that semifinal match at the 2:41 mark. 

There would be no third straight fall in the finals, but Lucas didn’t have much trouble against No. 2 Reece Barnhardt of Mary. Three takedowns, a pair of escapes and a riding time point added up to a 9-2 triumph and Lucas was the easy choice as tournament OW.

“It feels really good to be able get Outstanding Wrestler and win the tournament,” Lucas said. “A lot of hard work was put in and there’s a lot more to go. As a team, I thought we wrestled outstanding this weekend. We’re getting better every week from what I’m seeing and the guys are putting in a lot of hard work.”

Abney claimed his second straight Midwest Classic title, but there were some anxious moments for the defending national champion.

The top-seeded junior posted three straight shutouts Saturday, then gave up his first takedown of the season in the opening minute of his semifinals showdown with Colorado Mines’ fourth-seeded Anderson Salisbury. 

Abney escaped and got a takedown of his own to end the first period with a 3-2 lead, added another escape in the second and controlled Salisbury the entire third period to tack on a riding time point for a 5-2 victory.

It was another close call in the finals, with Abney getting past third-seeded Terus Henry of Fort Hays State 2-1 on the strength of a riding time point. Abney stretched his winning streak to 39 in a row with the perfect 5-0 weekend.

Streck also had a couple of hard-fought wins on the final day after overwhelming three opponents Saturday.

The No. 1 seeded junior used a pair of first-period takedowns to subdue unseeded Johnny Green of Ouachita Baptist 5-3 in the semifinals and an opening-period takedown was the difference in a 3-2 finals triumph over second-seeded Jared Campbell of Glenville State

The sixth-seeded Johnson fell to No. 1 Noah Hermosillo of Adams State 11-9 in a back-and-forth finals battle. Johnson led 6-2 after the first period, but Hermosillo – the national champion at 149 last year – rallied to tie it 7-7 after two periods and had a pair of takedowns in the final two minutes to take the title.

Johnson needed dramatics to make the finals, using a last-second takedown to knock off second-seeded Nate Smith of Pittsburgh-Johnstown 5-4. The redshirt freshman trailed 4-2 entering the final period, but escaped to get close, then struck for the winning takedown in the final seconds.

DesVigne also lost a tough finals decision, falling to top-seeded Caden Steffen of Southwest Minnesota 3-2, with Steffen’s third-period takedown the difference.

The unseeded junior had a superb weekend, upsetting the Nos. 2, 3 and 7 seeds in making the finals. DesVigne had two of those wins Saturday, then opened Sunday with a 5-3 semifinal triumph over No. 3 Logan Hall of Lander behind first- and third-period takedowns.

Ty Lucas was impressive on the final day, upending the Nos. 3, 4 and 6 seeds while going 4-0 in coming back to take third after falling in Saturday night’s quarterfinals.

The unranked senior opened Sunday with a 5-3 win over Drury’s Will Kuster to avenger a loss earlier this season, then jumped out to a big 10-2 first-period lead in upending No. 4 Drew Wiechers of Ashland 11-5 in the consolation quarters.

Lucas continued his relentless march through the consolation bracket with a tough 4-2 victory over Central Missouri’s No. 6 John Ridle before using a pair of takedowns to topple No. 3 Cole Ritter of Maryville 5-1 for the bronze medal.

Craig knocked off the No. 1 seed in Saturday’s quarterfinals, but lost in Sunday’s semifinals and fell again in the consolation semis. The unseeded senior rebounded to end the tournament with a resounding 13-2 rout in placing fifth.

The second-seeded Morris dropped into the consolation bracket with a 7-6 semifinal setback to Adams State’s Brendon Garcia and then lost a 10-8 overtime decision in the consolation semis. He finished on a high note in the fifth-place bout, trimming No. 1 Brandon Mendoza of Tiffin 6-5. 

Keim bounced back from a loss in Saturday’s quarterfinals to win his first two consolation bouts, posting two consecutive shutouts in 5-0 and 9-0 victories. The seventh-seeded senior lost his last two matches to come in sixth.

The seventh-seeded Filippo dropped a 4-3 decision to Gannon’s No. 3 Nick Young in the semifinals and had another tough loss in the consolation semis, falling 3-1 in sudden-victory to No. 4 Jason Hanenberg of Western Colorado. Filippo was held out of his fifth-place match.

UCO will take a week break before returning to practice after Christmas to begin preparing for the NWCA Division II National Duals. The Bronchos are the defending champions of that 16-team tournament, which is set for Jan. 6-7 in Louisville, Ky.

Championship Finals

133 – Dylan Lucas, UCO, dec. Reece Barnhardt, Mary, 9-2.

157 – Noah Hermosillo, Adams State, dec. Gabe Johnson, UCO, 11-9.

184 – Caden Steffen, Southwest Minnesota, dec. Anthony DesVigne, UCO, 3-2.

197 – Dalton Abney, UCO, dec. Terus Henry, Fort Hays State, 2-1.

Hvy – Shawn Streck, UCO, dec. Jared Campbell, Glenville State, 3-2.

Consolation Finals
165 – Ty Lucas, UCO, dec. Cole Ritter, Maryville, 5-1.

Fifth Place
125 – Studd Morris, UCO, dec. Brandon Mendoza, Tiffin, 6-5.

141 – Taylor Jokerst, Maryville, dec. Nate Keim, UCO, 7-5.

149 – Darick Lapaglia, Central Missouri, by medical forfeit over Brik Filippo, UCO.

174 – Tre’Vaughn Craig, UCO, major dec. Brandon Matthews, Seton Hill, 13-2.

Championship Semifinals
125 – Brendon Garcia, Adams State, dec. Morris, UCO, 7-6.

133 – Lucas, UCO, pinned Eric Bartos, Mercyhurst, 2:41.

149 – Nick Young, Gannon, dec. Filippo, UCO, 4-3.

157 – Johnson, UCO, dec. Nate Smith, Pittsburgh-Johnstown, 5-4.

174 – Zeke Waltz, McKendree, pinned Craig, UCO, 2:41.

184 – DesVigne, UCO, dec. Logan Hall, Lander, 5-3.

197 – Abney, UCO, dec. Anderson Salisbury, Colorado Mines, 5-3.

Hvy – Streck, UCO, dec. Johnny Green, Ouachita Baptist, 5-3.

Consolation Semifinals

125 – Shane Corrigan, Wisconsin-Parkside, dec. Morris, UCO, 10-8 (SV1).

141 – Christian Small, Lake Erie, major dec. Keim, UCO, 15-3.

149 – Jason Hanenberg, Western Colorado, dec. Filippo, UCO, 3-1 (SV1).

165 – Lucas, UCO, dec. John Ridle, Central Missouri, 4-2.

174 – Cade Lindsey, Fort Hays State, dec. Craig, UCO, 2-0.

Consolation Quarterfinals

141 – Keim, UCO, major dec. Grayston DiBlasi, Colorado Mines, 9-0.

165 – Lucas, UCO, dec. Drew Wiechers, Ashland, 11-5.

Consolation Fourth Round

141 – Keim, UCO, dec. Ray Rioux, Indy, 5-0.

165 – Lucas, UCO, dec. Will Kuster, Drury, 5-3.

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