Men’s wrestling makes it to nationals

Laren Reesman, Staff writer

On Feb. 28, Mercyhurst University hosted the NCAA Super Region 1 wrestling tournament.

The Mercyhurst wrestling team competed in hopes of qualifying for the NCAA Championships in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Six Mercyhurst wrestlers earned spots in the Championships: Logan Grass, Luke McGonigal, Jacob Robb, Alexis Soriano, Eric Bartos and Michael Clark.All six finished in the top three in their weight class.

Many were surprised by the Lakers’ performances and the numbers that qualified for the Championships. While the Lakers dominated their entire season with 11 wins and five losses, they struggled in the conference with four wins and three losses. Even those who did not place to advance to nationals found spots on the podium in 5th and 6th.

Two of the qualifiers, Robb and Soriano, both agreed that the Super Region tournament was the best performance for the wrestling team all season.

“A lot of our guys had to beat somebody that they had previously lost to… and they stepped up,” Robb said.

Many competed keeping both their individual and the team expectations in mind. “Coach talked to us the day before prior to regionals and we just understood what he wanted us to do,” Soriano said.

Soriano noted that the entire team was motivated and revved up going into the tournament. Overall, the team energy led to a great performance by Mercyhurst at home. The six qualifying athletes are now preparing for the NCAA Championships on March 13 and 14.

Training and experience are instrumental in competing at the next level, they said. When asked about their preparation tactics, Robb and Soriano have similar approaches. Soriano said he intends to go about it in the way that he approaches all matches and tournaments: feel good and wrestle well in the moment.

Robb said the team have prepared since August and success comes down to those past practices, matches and tournaments. “Really, all we can do is be confident and rely on our training,” Robb said.

The wrestlers and Wehler said they are happy to have a chance to share the national-championship experience as a team as they head to Sioux Falls.