CHAMPIONS: Trio of champions powers LHU to second EWL title, first since 1997

The 2017-18 Lock Haven University Wrestling team poses with their 2018 EWL Wrestling Championship banner after winning their first EWL title since 1997. LHU crowned three individual champions en route to the title. (Photo courtesy of LHU Wrestling)

EDINBORO – The nationally-ranked Lock Haven University wrestling team crowned three individual champions and nine Bald Eagles placed as LHU powered its way to the 2018 Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) team title.

It marked the second EWL championship in school history and the first since the Bald Eagles won the title in 1997.

Ronnie Perry (Christiana, Pa./Solanco), Alex Klucker (Summerdale, Pa./East Pennsboro) and Corey Hazel (Spring Mills, Pa./Penns Valley) all claimed individual EWL titles while Chance Marsteller (New Park, Pa./Kennard-Dale) and Thomas Haines (Quarryville, Pa./Solanco) both placed second.

Those five along with Kyle Shoop (Boiling Springs, Pa./Boiling Springs) all booked trips to the NCAA Division I Championships.

The six NCAA qualifiers mark the most since LHU had six in 2005 and the three individual EWL champions are the most since the Bald Eagles also had three in 2001.

Perry’s title marked the second straight season he claimed an individual title. Last season he won the 141-pound title. He’s also now a three-time NCAA championship qualifier and will make his second straight trip the sports’ biggest stage.

For Shoop and Haines, it also marks back-to-back NCAA trips. Klucker, Hazel and Marsteller will all make their NCAA debuts for Lock Haven later this month in Cleveland.

Tristan Sponseller (East Berlin, Pa./Bermudian Springs), who hadn’t competed since the Virginia Duals on January 12, returned to the Bald Eagle lineup and took third at 197. He was 3-1 on the day.

Shoop was third at 141 and earned a trip to the NCAA tournament. He was 3-1 on the day.

Luke Werner (Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty) was fourth at 125 after going 2-2 and DJ Fehlman (Warren, Pa./Warren) added a fourth-place finish at 133.

Perry, ranked No. 15 nationally, entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed at 149 and received a bye into the semifinals. In the semifinals, he downed Justin Yorkdale (George Mason) in dominating fashion. He won by tech fall 19-4 (5:54). In the finals, Perry rolled past Clarion’s Taylor Ortz 8-3. With the win, Perry became a two-time EWL champ and three time NCAA qualifier. His two wins today also ran his career total to 100 as he became the 20th member of LHU’s 100-win club.

Klucker, ranked No. 33 nationally, was the No. 3 seed at 157 and moved into the finals after a pair of wins. He opened the day with a win (INJ. DEF) over Cleveland State’s John Vaughn and followed it up by knocking off No. 2 seed BJ Clagon of Rider, a former All-American. Klucker downed Clagon 8-3 in the semifinals. In the finals, Klucker took down No. 1 seed (No. 25 DI) Andrew Shomers of Edinboro in thrilling fashion. Klucker needed just 52 seconds before he earned the fall and individual EWL crown. The win helped Klucker book his first trip to the NCAA tournament.

Hazel entered the day as the No. 1 seed at 184. He’s ranked No. 22 in the nation and after a first-round bye, he downed Bloomsburg’s Trevor Allard 7-4 in the semifinals. In the finals, Hazel used a sensational effort and six-point second period to drop Clarion’s Greg Bulsak, 6-1. With the win, Hazel claimed the 184-pound title and booked a trip to the NCAA tournament.

Marsteller, the top-seed at 165, rattled off two dominating wins to earn a spot in the 165-pound finals. He majored Garrett Griffith 14-4 to open the day, before downing Georgio Poullas (Cleveland State) 7-3 in the semifinals. In the finals, Marsteller, ranked No. 5 nationally, locked up with Chad Walsh of Rider. Walsh is ranked No. 6 in the nation and Walsh’s only loss of the regular season came to Marsteller when the two met in the dual meet in late January. Walsh edged Marsteller 2-1 thanks to one minute of riding time in the finals tonight.

The loss to Walsh pushed Marsteller into a “true-second place bout” for NCAA qualifying purposes. Although it had no impact on the team score, Marsteller held nothing back and went right back to work and posted 10-2 major decision over Clarion’s Max Wohlabaugh. The win secured Marsteller’s trip to the NCAA championships, his first trip as a Bald Eagle.

Haines, ranked No. 13 nationally and the No. 2 seed at 285, used a pair of hard-fought wins to earn a spot in the finals where he met his biggest EWL rival in Edinboro’s Billy Miller. Haines opened the tournament with a 10-0 major decision over Bruce Graeber (Bloomsburg) and in the semifinals, Haines edged George Mason’s Matt Voss 4-2. In the finals vs. the top-seed Miller, the Fighting Scot escaped with a hard-earned 4-2 win.

Lock Haven racked up 81.5 points on the way to the victory. Rider (72.5 pts.) edged Edinboro for second (72 pts.). Edinboro and Rider had combined to win the last three tournament titles.

UP NEXT:

The 2018 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships are scheduled for Thursday, March 15 – Saturday, March 17 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. On Tuesday, March 6, the NCAA will announce the at-large bids for the championships. Check www.GoLHU.com in the coming days for more information regarding the NCAA tournament.

FINAL TEAM SCORES

1. Lock Haven, 81.5 pts.

2. Rider, 72.5 pts.

3. Edinboro, 72 pts.

4. Clarion, 55 pts.

5. Bloomsburg, 28 pts.

6. Cleveland State, 25.5 pts.

7. George Mason, 15 pts.

MOST OUTSTANDING

WRESTLER

Evan Cheek, Cleveland State

LHU AGATE:

125: Fr. Luke Werner (Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty) No. 4 seed

First Round vs. Ibrahim Bunduka (George Mason) L, dec. 7-4

Consolation Round 1 vs. John Martin (Cleveland State) W, dec. 8-2

Consolation Semifinals vs. Gavin Park (Clarion) W, dec. 6-2

Third-place vs. Ibrahim Bunduka (George Mason) L, 3-1

133: R-So. DJ Fehlman (Warren, Pa./Warren) No. 4 seed

First Round – bye

Semifinals vs. Korbin Myers (Edinboro) L, pin 4:30

Consolation Semifinals vs. Trevor Mello (George Mason) W, TF 16-0 (3:20)

Third-place vs. Anthony Cefolo (Rider) L, 7-1 SV

141: R-So. Kyle Shoop (Boiling Springs, Pa./Boiling Springs) No. 4 seed, ranked No. 26 nationally

First Round vs. Nate Hagan (Edinboro) W, dec. 8-1

Semifinals vs. Brock Zacherl (Clarion) L, dec. 6-1

Consolation Semifinals vs. Tejon Anthony (George Mason) W, MD 9-0

Third-place vs. Tyson Dippery (Rider) W, dec. 7-1

149: R-Sr. Ronnie Perry (Christiana, Pa./Solanco) No. 1 seed, ranked No. 15 nationally

First Round – bye

Semifinals vs. Justin Yorkdale (George Mason) W, tech fall 19-4 (5:54)

Finals vs. Taylor Ortz (Clarion) W, 8-3

157: R-So. Alex Klucker (Summerdale, Pa./East Pennsboro) No. 3 seed, ranked No. 33 nationally

First Round vs. John Vaughn (Cleveland State) W, injury default (1:26)

Semifinals vs. BJ Clagon (Rider) W, dec. 8-3

Finals vs. Andrew Shomers (Edinboro) W, pin (0:52)

165: R-Jr. Chance Marsteller (New Park, Pa./Kennard-Dale) No. 1 seed, ranked No. 5 nationally

First Round vs. Garrett Griffith (George Mason) W, MD 14-4

Semifinals vs. Georgio Poullas (Cleveland State) W, dec. 7-3

Finals vs. Chad Walsh (Rider) L, dec. 2-1

*True-second vs. Max Wohlabaugh W, MD 10-2

174: So. Jared Siegrist (Manheim, Pa./Manheim Central) No. 4 seed

First Round – bye

Semifinals vs. Ty Schoffstall (Edinboro) L, MD 12-3

Consolation Semifinals vs. Kyle Murphy (Bloomsburg) L, dec. 5-0

184: R-So. Corey Hazel (Spring Mills, Pa./Penns Valley) No. 1 seed, ranked No. 22 nationally

First Round – bye

Semifinals vs. Trevor Allard (Bloomsburg) W, dec. 7-4.

Finals vs. Greg Bulsak (Clarion) W, 6-1

197: R-Jr. Tristan Sponseller (East Berlin, Pa./Bermudian Springs) No. 3 seed

First Round vs. John Kelby (Cleveland State) W, MD 13-0

Semifinals vs. Dustin Conti (Clarion) L, 5-2

Consolation Semifinals vs. Eli Spencer (George Mason) W, pin (1:46)

Third-place vs. Dylan Reynolds (Edinboro) W, 6-0

285: R-Jr. Thomas Haines (Quarryville, Pa./Solanco) No. 2 seed, ranked No. 13 nationally

First Round vs. Bruce Graeber (Bloomsburg) W, MD 10-0

Semifinals vs. Matt Voss (George Mason) W, dec. 4-3

Finals vs. Billy Miller (Edinboro) L, dec. 4-2.

COMMENTS