The following is a roundup of recent happenings in Ashland University sports.
The No. 12-ranked Ashland University wrestling team completed an impressive comeback to win its second consecutive Great Midwest Athletic Conference championship Saturday afternoon, defeating host Lake Erie 22-21 to clinch the title.
"It was a huge team effort this weekend," said Ashland coach Colt Sponseller. "Guys had to step up and fill the lineup and get wins, and they did. Bonus points are key, and we had guys go get them."
Both the Eagles and Storm were 3-0 for the weekend coming into the final dual of the Championships. Lake Erie led 17-9 before a furious AU comeback.
After a first-day win over Kentucky Wesleyan and victories over Tiffin (32-12) and Findlay (25-18) earlier Saturday, Ashland needed to beat Lake Erie to repeat as champion.
Trailing 17-9, senior Cameron Jenkins began the comeback at 174 pounds. He was filling in for an injured Daniel Beemer, who was named G-MAC Wrestling Athlete of the Week for the second consecutive week on Jan. 19. Jenkins took a 5-2 decision from John Penfold, making the deficit 17-12.
Senior 184-pounder Aidan Pasiuk then pinned Tylor Orrison in 1:45 to put Ashland on top at 18-17. Sophomore Walker Uhl followed that by topping Brylan Clouse 6-0 at 197 pounds.
Lake Erie tied the score at 21 in the 285-pound match, but Ashland won the match and the league title on criterion.
Junior Luke Wymer (141/149), senior Chance Esmont (157), Pasiuk and Uhl all finished 3-0 for the Eagles. Jenkins was 2-0 at 165/174.
Pasiuk shared the tournament's co-Most Outstanding Wrestler honors with Penfold. Esmont, Pasiuk and Uhl all made the all-tournament first team, while Wymer, senior 149-pounder Carson Speelman, junior 165-pounder Drew Wiechers and Beemer all made the second team. Eagles third-teamers were Jenkins and senior 125-pounder Christian Wellman.
"Aidan had four pins on the weekend. That is huge," Sponseller said. "Chance Esmont, Luke Wymer, and Walker Uhl stepped up and went undefeated. But we had guys like Cameron Jenkins that stepped in at two different weights and got wins to elevate the team. We had gutsy performances from guys that aren't 100%, and they went out there because their team needed them to. Huge team win, and I couldn't be happier."
It’s now back to the regular season for AU, which will compete at the Greyhound Duals and the Greyhound Open Feb. 5-6 in Indianapolis, Ind.
MEN’S AND WOMEN’S TRACK AND FIELD
Three Ashland University men's indoor track and field athletes earned new nationals provisional marks Saturday afternoon at the Penn State National Invitational.
Senior Trevor Bassitt won the men's 400 meters in 46.08 seconds, while senior Channing Phillips was third in 47.44. Both earned new provos for the 2022 NCAA Division II Championships. Those times put Bassitt and Phillips as No. 1 and 2 in the country, respectively, and Bassitt's time is No. 3 in the world this indoor season.
Senior Storm Elsesser earned a new provo with a fourth-place effort in the men's high jump at 2.05 meters/6-feet-8¾.
On Friday, Ashland’s men and women competed at both the Penn State National Invitational and the Youngstown State Collegiate Invitational.
At Penn State, sophomore Doniven Jackson not only earned a new provisional time for nationals in the 60 meters prelims in 6.87, he followed that up with a faster time in the finals of 6.81, good for a fourth-place finish.
Senior Brent Fairbanks won the men's weight throw at 21.33/69-11¾, and Bassitt won the 60 hurdles in 7.79.
At Youngstown, sophomore Brenden Jackson won the men's 400 in 49.52. Runner-up finishes came from freshman Brock Janowicz in the men's weight throw (17.27/56-8), sophomore McKenna Woodruff in the women's 800 meters (2:19.09) and freshman Abby Krile in the women's pole vault unseeded (3.37/11-¾).
On Jan. 19, Bassitt was named G-MAC Men's Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week.
Ashland's men and women will split up Jan. 28-29, going to the Rod McCravy meet in Lexington, Ky., and the Findlay Classic.
Not swimming competitively in more than two months didn't stop Ashland University junior Franci Aleksi from earning another Great Midwest Athletic Conference weekly honor.
For his effort in the men's 1,000-yard freestyle Jan. 15 at Hillsdale, Aleksi became a two-time Great Midwest Men's Swimming Athlete of the Week as announced by the Great Midwest on Jan. 19. Aleksi also earned the honor on Oct. 21.
In the 1,000 free at Hillsdale, Aleksi won in 9:49.97. he also finished second in the 500 free in 4:53.00.
This article originally appeared on Ashland Times Gazette: Ashland University wrestling repeats as Great Midwest champ