Mercyhurst University wrestling is gearing up for NCAA Super Region I Championships which is set for Friday in West Liberty, W.Va. The Lakers are sending 10 men, six who are seeded second, to represent the university.
Among the six wrestlers is Willie Bohince in the 125-pound division. Bohince, who was 18-1 in duals this year and 28-4 overall, is currently fourth in the nation. Last season, he set the school record for wins by a freshman. Bohince finished 7th at the NCAA National Championships.
The 149-pound junior, Jeremy Landowski is 25-4 this year, and like Bohince, is familiar with national competition. He finished eighth in the nation last season.
Francis Mizia, who is currently ranked sixth in the nation at 157 pounds, will also be a part of the postseason team. Francis leads the nation in wins by technical fall with eight victories in which he bested his opponent by 15-plus points. As a freshman Francis took second at the Super Regions in 2014.
Last season, Francis made it to the super region finals. This year, he is more prepared for the challenge.
“I’m much more confident this year, confident with my conditioning and preparation,” he said. “This year I know how hard I’ve worked and know that when I wrestle how I want to things usually go my way.”
The team’s 165-pound wrestler is Angelo Bortoluzzi who sits at 24-7 overall and was ranked fourth nationally prior to the UPJ dual meet.
He is looking forward to the tournament and improving his post-season results from last year.
“Our goal is to qualify ten starters to the NCAA tournament and take first place as a team in the region for the first time in program history. We set our expectations for ourselves so high because our goal is to always be better than we were the year before.”
August Mizia, the team’s 174-pound wrestler, is currently ranked fifth nationally with an overall record of 26-4. Like several of his teammates, August has been through the ropes earning a 3rd place finish in last year’s Super Regions, qualifying for the national tournament.
Rounding out the team’s wrestlers is Dakota DesLauriers at 184 pounds. DesLauriers has a season win-loss record of 20-8. Dakota finished fourth last season.
The Lakers recently won their third consecutive PSAC title and ended the conference with a 7-0 record, 18-1 overall.
The team is looking forward to the postseason. There is currently a lone national title banner in the Mercyhurst Athletic Center. Head Coach Mike Wehler said he hopes there will be a second after the tournament. The Lakers are heading into Super Regions with a solid confidence after a successful season.