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Getting II Know a DII Program: Ashland

Weirich_Tristan

photo courtesy of Ashland athletics

In 41 years of NCAA Division II wrestling, Ashland has put five national champions on the top of the podium, with 144 total earning All-American status for the Eagles. Ashland has placed three times as a team, taking third in 1976, fourth in 1985 and fourth in 2002. Head Coach Josh Hutchens just wrapped up his seventh year as the head of the Ashland program in 2019-20.

“The Ashland Wrestling team focuses on work ethic, sportsmanship and a family atmosphere,” Hutchens said. “We embrace the DII philosophy of striving for excellence in academics and wrestling while balancing all other areas of life.”

Three of Ashland’s National Champions have come under Hutchens, with four-time All-American Michael Labry winning the title at 133 in 2017, and Bret Romanzak (165) and Luke Cramer (197) both taking titles in 2018. Romanzak was one of seven Eagles to qualify for the 2019-20 NCAA Division II National Championships, with four of those seven returning for next season. In all, six starters return to the squad that finished third at this year’s Super Region 3 tournament.

Three of the returning Eagle starters have previously earned All-American status: Carson Speelman (149), Aiden Pasiuk (184), and Tristen Weirich (285). Pasiuk and Weirich are two-time All-Americans, while 2020 National Qualifier at 197, Pete Abraham, also returns to the lineup. Three Eagles will come off of redshirt seasons, and another seven Ohio natives will be freshman in the Fall of 2020 as Hutches will field a roster of 35 for next season.

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