MU puts five on the podium

Shane Ruhnke stands a top the podium punching his ticket to nationals. Photo courtesy of MU Athletics.

Jared Kish
Sports Editor

The Millersville wrestling team went to battle this past Saturday at the 2019 NCAA Division II Super Region 1 Championships. By the end of the day Millersville had five wrestlers who would all step up on the podium, first starting with Shane Ruhnke.

Ruhnke who was the top seed coming into the match, came out showing quick agility as he got the pin in just under three minutes. That moved Ruhnke right into the semifinals match going up against Kutztown’s Conner Rogovich. Ruhnke made quick work of him pinning him at 2:04. Ruhnke sealed his spot at nationals with the win over Rogovich.

Ruhnke also reached a career high with 12 wins and finally sealing off a great day of wrestling in his final match against Mercyhurst’s Logan Grass who previously beat Ruhnke earlier in the season. Grass put up more of a fight than Ruhnke’s first two opponents but ultimately, Ruhnke got his revenge against Grass pinning him for a 4-2 victory.   

Another Marauder who had a tremendous day of wrestling was Colton Dull. Like Ruhnke, Dull punched a ticket to nationals. Dull in the 197-weight class, faced off against Levi Niebauer of Mercyhurst. Niebauer got the best of Dull winning the battle on a 7-3 victory but Dull was not done just yet. Dull needed to pull off a win to get to the semifinals and he would go up against Gannon’s Freddie Nixon.

Dull came out victorious against Nixon with a 3-2 decision. With the win Dull earned his shot at a title match in the semifinals.

In the semifinals Dull would open the match taking a 12-0 lead on two four-point near falls. Dull scored a 16-0 technical fall at just over two minutes successfully earning himself a spot at nationals.

Three more Millersville wrestlers would put in a good effort in the championships. Starting in the 285-weight class, David Wuestner finished his collegiate career with a fourth-place finish. He earned a spot on the podium but fell one spot short of a national spot.  Wuestner went back and forth with his opponents all day but in his last collegiate match-up he was able to earn a 3-1 victory.

Evan Morrill like Wuestner would finish in fourth place falling one short of a spot at nationals. However, Morrill placed his highest rank finish in a tournament this year. Morrill lost his first match of the day but then came back and won his next three. The deciding match for Morrill had him facing Nathan Bowlen of Seton Hill who he lost to in the first match of the day.

In the rematch Morrill could not beat out Bowlen for third place as he fell short in a 6-1 lost. Morrill fought and battled and for that he deserves credit.  

The fifth and final wrestler to make the podium in Saturday’s championships was freshmen Ryan McGuire. Coming in and wrestling in the 133-pound weight class McGuire looked to prove himself.

McGuire picked up two wins right off the bat but unfortunately dropped his third match losing to Seton Hill’s Alan Diltz. This put the Marauder wrestler in a consolation semifinals match where he faced Matt Siszka of Pitt-Johnstown. Siszka got the victory and put the young Marauder wrestler up against Shippensburg’s Jacob Downing.   

McGuire got the only takedown of the match earning him a fifth-place victory and a spot on the podium. McGuire being only a freshmen proved he can wrestle this season winning 20 matches. He is just the third freshman to ever win 20 matches in the program’s history.  

Five Marauders had a good day of wrestling earning spots on the podium. They all battled and proved why they were in the first round of championships.

Ruhnke and Dull will have some time to prepare for nationals. The NCAA Division II Championships will start on Friday, March 8th in Cleveland.