Two Panthers place at NCAA Super Regionals

February 27, 2023 | 12:04 am

Updated February 27, 2023 | 12:06 pm

The Kentucky Wesleyan College wrestling team ended its season on Sunday with a 10thplace showing at the NCAA Super Regional. The Panthers competed in Super Region IV and for the second straight year set new program benchmarks. 
Wesleyan was highlighted by Gabe Adams who finished in fifth place at 141 pounds, a finish that sets a new program mark for highest place in the NCAA Super Regional. A year ago, Andrew Parker placed sixth on a torn ACL marking the first time any wrestler placed in the Super Regionals in program history. The club got bigger as Cade Johnson placed sixth overall at 157 pounds to give the Panthers two placers in the Super Region for the first time in program history.
Adams was defeated in his opening round, but won his next two matches by decision to get to the to the consolation semi-finals. There he fell to Ray Rioux of Indianapolis, but battled back to win the fifth place match over Taylor Jokerst from Maryville. 
Johnson placed sixth at 157-pounds and after an opening round bye, he fell to Jaylon Otero from Ouachita Baptist. Like Adams, Johnson battled back through the consolation bracket, defeated JD Culp from Central Missouri 9-4. As Johnson got back into the fifth-place match he was met by Otero again. This time around Johnson came eyelashes away from equaling Adams’ success, falling 3-2.  
Bryson Rowley scored team points for the Panthers as well as he won his consolation round match by pin over John Nguyen in 55 seconds. Caden Moore also recorded a pin on the day as he won on of his consolation round matches in the third period over Jaxson McIntyre of William Jewell. 
Central Oklahoma won the team title by 36.5 points over Indianapolis. UCO totaled 167.5 points to UIndy’s 131. Finishing in third was Maryville who collected 104 points. The Panthers finished with 19.5 points, 10 more than last season.
The season marks the first for first-year Head Coach Brandon Crawford who started in October. The team showed constant improvement that already gain traction under Rob McCabe. As the depth improves over the coming off-season, a roster filled with a true freshman will help elevate the program further in the coming years. 

February 27, 2023 | 12:04 am

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