2018 Central Region Preview

Owen Doster is looking to improve on last year’s 7th place finish

Date – Friday and Saturday, February 23-24, 2018

Location – Wabash College, Crawfordsville, IN

Teams (18) – Adrian, Alma, Baldwin Wallace, Case, Heidelberg, John Carroll, Manchester, Mount St. Joseph, Mount Union, Muskingum, Ohio Northern, Olivet, Otterbein, Thomas More, Trine, Wabash, Washington & Jefferson, Waynesburg

Top Ten Ranked Individuals (2017 All-Americans in bold)
125 – Nick Mancini (Mount Union, 6), Chris Doyle (Baldwin Wallace, 7)
133 – Owen Doster (Wabash, 2)
141 – Jarrod Brezovec (John Carroll, 7), Chase Wilson (Manchester, 8), Alec Cotton (Mount Union, 10)
149 – Jarrad Lasko (John Carroll, 8)
157 – Kyle Hatch (Wabash, 7)
165 – Anthony Arroyo (Baldwin Wallace, 4), Tyler Grimsley (Olivet, 9)
174 – Jairod James (Mount Union, 2), Darden Schurg (Wabash, 4), Clayton Davidson (Ohio Northern, 9)
184 –
197 – Drew Kasper (Otterbein, 10)
285 – Jake Evans (Waynesburg, 6), Nate Barcaskey (Ohio Northern, 10)

Top 30 Teams (d3wrestle.com list)
10. Wabash
11. Mount Union
12. Baldwin Wallace
25. John Carroll
30. Waynesburg

There should be real competition for the top spot in the team race here. Wabash, Mount Union, and Baldwin Wallace are 10, 11, and 12 in the tournament rankings, while Olivet also has good depth that will help score in this format. Wabash has finished the NCAA tournament with a trophy in each of the past three seasons, and the Little Giants return All-American Owen Doster as well as round of 12 finisher Darden Schurg. Freshman Kyle Hatch will bolster the lineup in his first postseason. Mount Union has three ranked wrestlers as well. Midseason transfer Jairod James announced his presence with a Wheaton title, and the former Kent State wrestler will be a threat to win the whole thing. Baldwin Wallace is strong across the board and recently won seven matches against Mount Union in a late season dual meet. Anthony Arroyo is a returning All-American at 165 who scores points in bunches.

Olivet has just one wrestler in the top ten, but like the other top contenders here, they can put ten solid wrestlers on the mat. Waynesburg is led by All-American heavyweight Jake Evans. The team has few weak spots and could contend at multiple weights this weekend including 125 and 197. John Carroll has a pair of ranked training partners in Brezovec at 141 and Lasko at 149. Brezovec will have a tougher go of it this week with two other ranked wrestlers in his weight, but both will be seeded to qualify. Ohio Northern also has two ranked wrestlers in Clayton Davidson and Nate Barcaskey. Each is looking for his first trip to the championships.

Otterbein is looking to qualify a wrestler in their second year as a program. Their best shot is sophomore Drew Kasper at 197. Kasper transferred to Otterbein from Indiana Tech after his high school coach Brent Rastetter was hired to start the brand new Cardinals team. The former Ohio state champion is also the brother of Duke All-American heavyweight Jacob Kasper who is ranked 3rd at that weight in Division I.