FHSU Sports Information Department
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Fort Hays State Wrestling had four wrestlers compete at the NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships on Friday (Mar. 10). Jon Inman (197) and Brandon Ball (141) secured All-America status by advancing to Saturday, while Greg Tooley (157) and Christian Lance (285) saw their seasons come to an end.
Second-ranked Inman advanced to the semifinals for the second time in his career by going 2-0 on the day. Inman started the day off with a big pin over Kutztown’s Jeff Reimel 1:01 into the second period. He punched his ticket to day two and the semifinals with a 5-3 come-from-behind decision over Newberry’s Cody Brundage. Inman fell behind early in the match with Brundage after allowing an early takedown but ended up taking full control in the third period to claim the victory. Facing Inman in the semifinals on Saturday will be Ashland’s Luke Cramer, ranked No. 3 in the nation.
Redshirt-freshman and 10th-ranked Ball advanced to day two after going 2-1 to start the championships. Ball won his first match of the day with No. 8 ranked Joseph Alessandro from Seton Hill with a 4-1 decision. In the quarterfinals, he dropped a tough 5-3 decision to No. 3 Darren Wynn of McKendree, falling to the consolation bracket. In his first match on the backside, he dominated with a 17-2 technical fall over No. 12 Pete Cunningham of California Baptist.
Tooley officially went 0-2 on the day but advanced to the second round of the consolation bracket thanks to a medical forfeit. This season provided a taste of what Tiger wrestling will get from the young Tooley as the redshirt freshman still has three years of wrestling ahead of him. Overall, on the year, Tooley was 26-6 and ended the season as the 8th-ranked wrestler at 157 pounds.
Lance battled hard and just missed attaining All-America status, but dropped a pair of one-point decisions to end his season with a 1-2 day. Lance dropped his first match of the day to fourth-ranked Donnell Walker of Maryville 3-2 to fall to the consolation round. There he picked up the sudden victory win after earning a two-point takedown in extra time over Findlay’s Mimmo Lytle. Lance then faced off with Austin Goergen, the no. 5 wrestler in the nation out of St. Cloud State. Lance gave Goergen all he could handle but ultimately fell 6-5. Lance turned in a great season for the Tigers and as a redshirt freshman, leading the team in wins with a 44-10 record.
Inman and Ball begin day two of the championships at 10 am on Saturday.