MECHANICSBURG — Sophomore Nolan Barger (Clearfield) won three matches, two against nationally-ranked opponents, to claim the 165-pound championship at the NCAA Division III Mideast Region Tournament at Thompson Auditorium on the Messiah College campus Sunday.
That performance in a weight class that had nine nationally-ranked wrestlers shot Barger from the bottom of d3wrestle.com’s honorable mention list to No. 6 in this week’s Top 10 rankings.
Seeded No. 4, the Warrior defeated two familiar foes to reach the finals.
He shut out No. 5 seed David Shapiro of Baldwin Wallace 5-0 and then knocked off No. 1 seed Colt Lovejoy of Ohio Northern 12-9.
Barger (31-7) had pinned Shapiro (31-8) in 38 seconds at Baldwin Wallace’s John Summa Tournament last month and handled Lovejoy (32-7) twice, 13-3 and 4-1, at the Ohio Northern Invitational in early December.
Lovejoy was ranked No. 7 by d3wrestle.com and No. 9 by the National Wrestling Coaches Association. He placed sixth.
In the title match, Barger scored five points in the middle period en route to a 6-2 victory over John Carroll senior Terner Gott, who was 30-0 and ranked eighth by d3wrestle.com and 10th by the NWCA.
According to the release on the Lycoming wrestling website, the No. 2 seed chose the down position to start the second period and escaped before Barger executed a duck under near the edge of the mat for the takedown and then locked up a cradle for a near fall.
Barger chose down for the third period and added an escape against the four-time national qualifier who owns a 110-20 career record.
He is the first Warrior region champion since Sean Cullen reigned at 133 in 2007, when Lycoming competed in the Midwest Regional.
Senior John Secor, the 195-pound region champ, will join Barger at the NCAA Division III Championships in Hershey’s Giant Center March 13-14.
Barger was named Warrior of the Week for the second time this season.
Last week, he was one of a Lycoming record seven wrestlers named to the Empire Collegiate Wrestling Conference All-Academic Team.
Student-athletes who have reached sophomore academic standing and are in at least their second semester on campus while maintaining either a cumulative or two-semester grade-point average of 3.3 are eligible for the ECWC All-Academic Team, which recognizes student-athletes who have wrestled in at least three competitions and were eligible to compete in the ECWC Championship Tournament.
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WOMEN’S INDOOR TRACK & FIELD
EDINBORO — Sophomore Jessica Shomo (Clearfield) placed 21st in the long jump at the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships in the Mike Zafirovski Dome on the Edinboro University Campus Saturday.
Her best leap was 4.88 meters, well short of her season-best and career-record 5.26 meters.