The Mercyhurst wrestling team heads into the NCAA Super Region I tournament this weekend. The tournament is Friday, Feb. 26, and Saturday, Feb. 27, at the Mercyhurst Athletic Center. The team has four wrestlers ranked in the region: redshirt junior Willie Bohince, redshirt senior Jeremy Landowski, redshirt junior Francis Mizia and redshirt senior August Mizia. The team is ranked eighth in the nation by NCAA.com behind regional foes Notre Dame College, ranked first, and University of Pittsburgh Johnstown, ranked third.
All four ranked wrestlers were All-Americans in the 2014-15 season and were all qualifiers for the national tournament. Bohince was a national qualifier, an All-American and a seventh place finisher in the 2012-13 season; he redshirted in the 2013-14 season.
The four not only qualified, but all of them placed in the tournament last year. Bohince finished eighth, Landowski and Francis Mizia finished sixth, and August Mizia finished third.
Unranked wrestlers Angelo Bortoluzzi and heavyweight Andy Welton were also qualifiers last year; Welton finished fifth.
Redshirt senior and returning Super Region place finisher August Mizia is looking to rebound after his loss at UPJ. The senior leader spoke about his expectations going into his last Super Region tournament and what it means to be a part of Mercyhurst wrestling.
“We’ve got great leadership on our team and it’s not just one guy in particular. Coach Wehler is a great leader, but just within the team, the older guys always seem to help out the younger guys,” said August, “the wrestling is good. The wrestling is great, but what comes out of it is even better.”
With his last season coming closer to an end, his mind is set on team success exemplified by saying, “I want to get the UPJ kid again and the Maryville kid, but if I don’t get them it’s not a big deal to me. I want to put my best performance out there each time I can. Whoever is in front of me, that’s their problem,” August said.
Bohince spoke to the preparedness of the younger wrestlers and the pride he has in how hard they have worked all season, specifically speaking about the youngest wrestler in the lineup, sophomore Kevin Kinyua.
“He’s really grown and come into his own. He’s right there with the top guys in the region. If he has a good weekend he can definitely make it to nationals,” Bohince said.
The tournament times n Friday and Saturday are TBA.