NEWBERRY, S.C. – Here are the four student-athletes who have earned Regional Wrestler of the Week honors in a week with plenty of tightly contested dual actions.
This honor is for matches wrestled from January 11-17.
For the rest of the season, one wrestler will be selected from each of the four Super Regions, with the regional wrestlers of the week announced Tuesday. The national wrestler of the week will be selected from those four and announced each Wednesday.
Super Region One
Christopher Matthews, Gannon
174 lbs. – R-So. – Kennerdell, Pa.
Ranked No. 4 at 174 pounds in NCAA Division II Super Region One, Matthews helped the Gannon wrestling team split a pair of road dual meets last weekend by going 2-0 against regionally-ranked opponents. The redshirt sophomore began a road trip with a 5-2 victory against fifth-ranked Joe Welk during a 22-20 dual victory at East Stroudsburg. He produced the second of four straight wins to end the match as Gannon rallied from a 20-6 deficit.
Matthews ended the weekend with a 9-5 victory against sixth-ranked Joseph Balboni during a dual meet at Kutztown. He led Balboni 7-2, before settling for a 9-5 win. The verdict gave Gannon a 6-0 team lead at the time. Matthews improved to 11-8 overall and 2-0 in dual competition this season. Four of his losses have come against NCAA Division I opponents.
Super Region Two
Nick Vandermeer, Lake Erie
174 lbs. – Jr. – Clarkston, Mich.
Vandermeer picked up two big wins for the Storm of Lake Erie last week. On Friday, Vandermeer picked up a 5-2 win by decision over returning All-American John Blankenship of Pitt-Johnstown.
On Saturday, Vandermeer picked up a key regional win over Ashland’s Jordan Murphy with a 10-6 decision.
Vandermeer is a returning national qualifier and has 17 wins on the season. He is the second consecutive Lake Erie wrestler to win regional wrestler of the week honors.
Super Region Three
Jay Hildreth, St. Cloud State
149 lbs. – Sr. – Council Bluffs, Iowa
Hildreth helped lead the number two ranked Huskies to a pair of key dual matches on Jan. 16 at the Ranger Duals tournament in Kenosha, Wisc. Hildreth started his day with a fall at 4:30 against Tony Vaughn during the Huskies’ 34-8 win over No. 18 Indianapolis.
Hildreth capped the day with a huge 9-1 major decision victory over No. 5 nationally ranked Frank Yattoni of Wisconsin-Parkside. The win helped provide key points for the Huskies their 25-15 win over No. 6 ranked Wisconsin-Parkside on their home mat in Kenosha.
The victories improved Hildreth’s record to 20-4 this season for St. Cloud State (8-1, 0-0 NSIC). Hildreth was ranked No. 6 in the nation in the latest NCAA Division II wrestling polls at 149 lbs.
Super Region Four
Paul Wilson, Colorado Mines
197 lbs. – Sr. – Stillwater, Okla.
No. 6 Paul Wilson went 4-0 for Mines last week, including three falls and a decision over #7 Joe Gomez of Northern State. Wilson pinned Chadron’s Stuart Hircock in 2:22 on Thursday, then led Mines’ 3-0 day at the Midwest Duals on Saturday with two more falls and the 2-0 decision against Gomez.
His pins against the University of Mary and Minot State came in a combined 1:16 (including his fastest of the season in :23). Against Gomez, Wilson used a second-period escape to go ahead 1-0, then rode out the third period to improve to 11-2 this season. For the week, he scored 21 points in four duals.
Selections are made from entries submitted by coaches and SIDs throughout the nation. A group of SIDs representing all four super regions select the wrestlers of the week.