Cats Get Another Wrestler to Nationals

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he NCAA announced the brackets and the at-large bids for the 2015 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships on Wednesday, and Ohio’s 184-pounder Andrew Romanchik landed a wildcard berth to join five of his Bobcat teammates on their trip to St. Louis.

Romanchik started the season at 157 pounds, but moved to 184 for Ohio’s dual meet against Appalachian State on Dec. 5. Ever since making the switch, he has gone 15-6 at his new weight. He finished third at the Mid-American Conference Championships and sports and overall record of 27-12.

Ohio’s 184-pounder was in the middle of a workout when he heard the good news.

“I knew I had some quality wins, and I was just kind of hoping for the best honestly,” Romanchik said over a phone interview. “I’ve never been to the national tournament before. I told myself that I don’t want to go watch it … I’m just happy to be there with these guys, and now I can’t be content with just making the national tournament. I’m just going to give it my go, hope for the best and see what happens.”

Romanchik is unseeded in the upcoming national tournament, and he will take on Lehigh’s Nathaniel Brown, a No. 7 seed, in the opening round.

In addition to sending sixth wrestlers to nationals in consecutive seasons – and tying a school record – the other five Bobcat qualifiers also learned their opening round opponents.

Coming off of a 30-1 record and his third-straight MAC title, Cody Walters is the No. 9 seed in the tournament. The Bobcat All-American is slated to take on Cornell’s George Pickett.

At 23-6, the Bobcats’ 197-pounder Phil Wellington earned the No. 14 seed, and is matched up with Eastern Michigan’s Anthony Abro. Welligton beat Abro 6-2 in Ohio’s dual with the Eagles.

In the 149 bracket, Ohio’s Tywan Claxton takes his 27-5 record to the No. 11 seed and a matchup with Matthew Frisch of The Citadel.

Joining Wellington and Walters in making a third appearance at the national tournament is 157-pounder Sparty Chino with a 19-11 record. Another Ohio-Citadel bout sees Chino taking on No. 16 Aaron Walker.

Rounding out the group of Bobcats making the trip to the big dance is redshirt senior Harrison Hightower. A two-time qualifier along with Claxton, Hightower’s 25-10 record garnered a 16th seed and earned him a matchup with North Carolina State’s Max Rohskopf.

The national tournament kicks off on March 19. The three-day event concludes with the championship round on the night of March 21.