First-year wrestling team recap

First-year student Bryce Wittman (in black), shown wrestling an opponent from Wabash, placed in seven tournaments during the 2018-19 season.

The Ohio Wesleyan wrestling team wrapped up the first season of its return to intercollegiate competition by competing at the NCAA Division III Central Regional tournament in February.

At that tournament, Bryce Wittman ’22 placed fifth in the 157-pound bracket. Wittman is the first Ohio Wesleyan wrestler to place in an NCAA Division III regional tournament. (Four Battling Bishop wrestlers competed in NCAA championships during the 1970s, before the introduction of regional tournaments to the championship format.)

Wittman opened the season by placing (finishing among the top eight individuals) in each of his first five tournaments, including runner-up finishes at Baldwin Wallace and Ohio Northern. He went on to place in a total of seven tournaments, also winning the consolation bracket at the Ohio Intercollegiate and at John Carroll. Wittman finished the season with a 28- 14 record.

Jimmy Brenneman ’22 placed in five tournaments, including a runner-up finish at John Carroll, on the way to a 16-19 record at 133 pounds. Caleb Blake ’22 placed in two tournaments, and Max Beard ’22, Jaret Lowry ’22, Ryan McElwee ’22, and Nathan Scott ’22 also placed in tournaments this season.

“We had placewinners at pretty much every tournament, and the ones where we didn’t were when we pulled guys from competition or rested people,” says Coach Paul Reid. “Overall, this probably is the most fun I’ve had coaching in my career, and that’s mostly because of the guys — they were awesome. Our retention was great, and I think we’ll have just shy of 20 on the roster next year.”

Story by Mark Beckenbach

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