Shippensburg University’s wrestling team traveled to Mercyhurst University for the NCAA Division II Super Region One Championships Friday and Saturday, coming away with a regional championship.
Junior Evan Ramos highlighted the SU team’s performance by taking the regional title at 197 pounds. He will now travel to the NCAA Division II National Championships, in two weeks, in Alabama. Ramos is the first SU regional champion since 2013, but it is the 16th consecutive year that a Raider will represent the school at the championships.
Ramos had a tough schedule to reach the final. He fought the No. 2 seed in the country, Terrance Fanning of Wheeling Jesuit University, to claim the title. Ramos came into the tournament as the No. 1 wrestler in Division II at 197 pounds, but the tournament was Ramos’s first competition in more than a month, so no one knew if he would be up to his usual standards. He definitely proved that there was no rust holding him back.
Ramos was the only Raider to compete Saturday, but the team was able to finish in 10th place. Junior Mike Springer had a good first day, but he was forced to drop out of the tournament for medical reasons after a match that saw him reach the semifinals. Springer still finished in sixth place at 149 pounds.
Other performers included sophomore Dustin Steffenino, senior Karl Lightner and sophomore Adam Martz. All three Raiders were ranked in their respective weight classes and they all won one match Friday. Steffenino started well with a tech fall victory in his first bout, but then went up against the No. 2 wrestler at 125 pounds in Ivan McClay from Notre Dame College (Ohio) and lost by pinfall. He then dropped a decision in his last fight of the tournament. Steffenino was ranked No. 7 in his class.
Lightner was ranked No. 5 in his class and was able to pick up one win by decision, but also dropped a decision and a major decision. His final bout was against the No. 6 wrestler at 141 pounds.
It was an overall impressive performance by the Raiders and the school will have a championship contender in the national championships in two weeks.