ERIE, Pa. – The West Liberty University wrestling team claimed one individual championship and qualified a total of four wrestlers for next month’s NCAA Division II national championship meet on Saturday as the Super Region One meet concluded at Gannon University’s Carneval Athletic Pavilion.

Senior All-American Mitch Knapp led the way for Coach Brian Davis’s Hilltoppers on Saturday as the No. 2 seed at 197 pounds rolled to a 5-1 decision against top-seeded Karl Reed of Newberry (S.C.) in the finals of the 197-pound division.

Knapp will be making his fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Division II nationals. He finished fifth at 197 pounds last year to earn All-America honors.

Joining the Hilltopper veteran in the national tournament field will be 157-pounder Seth Phalen, 165-pounder Jarrod Shaw and 285-pounder JD Ramsey.

The No. 3-seeded Phalen finished fourth at 157 pounds to punch his national tournament ticket. He knocked off No. 6 seed Sam Brehm of Gannon by a 10-7 count in the wrestleback semifinals to squeeze into the final four before falling to No. 5 seed Zach Lundgren of Pitt-Johnstown in the third-place match.

Shaw, seeded No. 6 at 165, had to work his way through the wrestleback quarterfinals and semifinals to crash the final four party in his weight class. The former Brooke High standout settled for fourth place after dropping a 5-2 decision to No. 2 seed Ron Tetrault of American International in their third-place match.

Ramsey is heading back to nationals for the second consecutive year. The No. 1 seed at 285, Ramsey was upset by No. 5 seed – and eventual champion – Chris Dempsey of Pitt-Johnstown in the championship semifinals but ground out a 2-1 decision against No. 6 seed Ron Oswald of Seton Hill in the wrestleback semifinals to earn one of the four qualifying spots. Ramsey finished fourth at 285 following an 11-4 loss to Mercyhurst’s Fred Hale in the third-place match.

Newberry won the team title for the second straight year with 135 points. Pitt-Johnstown was second at 115 with Gannon third at 84.5. West Liberty and East Stroudsburg finished in a 7th-place tie in the 13-team field.

The NCAA Division II national championship tournament will be held March 11-12 at the UNK Health and Sports Center on the campus of Nebraska-Kearney University in Kearney, Neb.

NCAA Division II Super Region One Championships

Team Scoring
1. Newberry 135
2. Pitt-Johnstown 115.5
3. Gannon 84.5
4. Mercyhurst 75
5. (tie) Kutztown, UNC-Pembroke 73
7. (tie) WEST LIBERTY, East Stroudsburg 54
9. Shippensburg 49.5
10. (tie) American International, Seton Hill 28.5
12. Anderson 16.5
13. Ohio Valley 2

West Liberty National Qualifiers
Third-Fourth Place
No. 5 Zachary Lundgren (UPJ) d. No. 3 Seth Phalen (WLU), 9-3
Wrestleback Semifinals
No. 3 Seth Phalen (WLU) d. No. 6 Sam Brehm (GU), 10-7
Championship Semifinals
No. 2 Jordan Shields (Mercy) d. No. 3 Seth Phalen (WLU), 5-0

Third-Fourth Place
No. 2 Ron Tetrault (AIC) d. No. 6 Jarrod Shaw (WLU), 5-2
Wrestleback Semifinals
No. 6 Jarrod Shaw (WLU) d. No. 5 Thad Frick (ESU), 11-6
Wrestleback Quarterfinals
No. 6 Jarrod Shaw (WLU) d. No. 7 Blake Ridenour (New), 9-5

Championship Final
No. 2 Mitch Knapp (WLU) d. No. 1 Karl Reed (New), 5-1
Championship Semifinals
No. 2 Mitch Knapp (WLU) d. No. 3 Shane Nolan (UNCP), 3-2

Third-Fourth Place
No. 3 Fred Hale (Mercy) d. No. 1 JD Ramsey (WLU), 11-4
Wrestleback Semifinals
No. 1 JD Ramsey (WLU) d. No. 6 Ron Oswald (SHU), 2-1
Championship Semifinals
No. 5 Chris Dempsey (UPJ) d. No. 1 JD Ramsey (WLU), 8-4

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