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Wrestlers, track, basketball advance to nationals

photo of basketball-wresting-track-field student-athletes

It was a big week for the Yellow Jackets as both the men's and women's basketball teams received bids to compete in the NCAA Division III national tournaments, and two indoor track and field athletes and six wrestlers qualified for national championship meets.

Although both basketball teams fell in the second round after hard-fought battles against top-ranking teams, the swell of YJ4L pride that filled the Lou Higgins parking lot as the two teams loaded the buses late last week to head off to nationals was a victorious moment for the BW community.

Also impressive was the wrestling team placing second at the 2019 NCAA Division III Central Region Championship Tournament and qualifying six wresters for the March 8-9 national tournament, and two track and field student-athletes headed to the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field National Championship.

Big Week for Wrestling

Under the direction of head coach Jamie Gibbs, the four-time Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) Coach of the Year, the Yellow Jacket grapplers are coming off a winning season of 14-2 and a school-record, fourth straight OAC Championship.

Headed to the 2019 NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament are 125-pounder Dante Ginnetti, who won the individual regional title and was named the Most Valuable Wrestler at the regional championships; 133-pounder Charlie Nash; 165-pound All-American Anthony Arroyo; 197-pounder Zeck Lehman; 157-pounder Richie Burke; and 184-pounder Justin Ransom.

Two Head to Track Nationals

Student-athletes Kelly Brennan and Zak Dysert are heading to the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field National Championship meet later this week.

An outdoor distance runner, Brennan is making her second appearance at a national meet and her first at the indoor championships. At the 2018 outdoor championship, Brennan was an All-American in the 800 meter run.

All-Ohio Athletic Conference thrower Dysert is returning to the indoor national championship for the second consecutive year. Last year he placed 12th.

Men's Basketball Drops Overtime Thriller

With a 20-8 record, the Yellow Jackets received an automatic bid to the national tournament by winning the OAC Tournament. The fifth-seed BW team defeated fourth-seed Wilmington College in the quarterfinals, then upset top-seed Capital University in the semifinals and ousted second-seed University of Mount Union in the title game.

Under head coach Tom Heil, the men's basketball team notched a 75-61 win over Salisbury University (Md.) in the first round of the national tournament. They advanced to the second round, where they were defeated 75-71 in an overtime thriller by Oswego St. College (N.Y.).

Women's Basketball Drops Defensive Battle

Taking her 14th BW women's basketball team to nationals, veteran head coach Cheri Harrer has received top honors in her field. She is the winningest women's basketball coach in BW history and second in the 116-year history of the OAC.

This year's 19-7 record was capped off by an at-large bid to the national tournament. In the opening round, the Yellow Jackets overcame a 13-point fourth quarter deficit to defeat Rochester Institute of Technology (N.Y.) at the buzzer 73-71. The team went on to play seventh nationally-ranked and host Messiah College (Pa.), where BW lost 64-51.

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