Spartan Wrestlers Ninth at NCAA Midwest Regional; Dukes Earns Wild Card

Isaac Dukes' performance at 157 pounds earned a "wild-card" berth to the NCAA Championship Tournament. (photo by Matt Napfel)
Isaac Dukes' performance at 157 pounds earned a "wild-card" berth to the NCAA Championship Tournament. (photo by Matt Napfel)

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Senior Isaac Dukes (Ravenna, Ohio/Ravenna) placed runner-up at 157 pounds to earn a "wild-card" berth to the NCAA Championship as the Case Western Reserve University wrestling team placed ninth as hosts of the 2012 NCAA Division III Midwest Regional Championship on Saturday at Horsburgh Gymnasium.

No. 7 nationally-ranked Olivet College (Mich.) won a second-straight regional team championship with 165.5 points. No. 26 Wabash College (Ind.) was second at 112.5, while Waynesburg University (Pa.) at 103, Trine University (Ind.) at 99.5 and Thiel College (Pa.) at 91.5 rounded out the top five.  

Dukes received a first-round bye in the nine-wrestler bracket then advanced to the semifinals with an 18-3 technical fall versus Brandon McLaughlin of Alma College (Mich.). In the round of four, the two-time All-American earned an 11-4 decision over Waynesburg University's Garett Johnston. Then in the title match, Dukes battled No. 1 seed and No. 3 nationally-ranked Elias Larson of Trine in a match that went scoreless until the final period. Ultimately, Larson, the Midwest Region Wrestler of the Year, pulled out a 4-3 victory.

Dukes has now qualified for the NCAA Championship Tournament in each of his four seasons. He won a national title at 149 pounds in 2010 and finished third in the class last season. 

Senior heavyweight Cale Harter (Mount Pleasant, Mich./Mount Pleasant) was 2-2 on the day to place fourth. After receiving a bye in the 10-wrestler 285-pound bracket, the senior captain earned a 3-1 decision versus Thiel 's Will Ringer. Harter then fell to No. 1-seed and No.8 nationally-ranked Logan Renas of Olivet via pin (29 seconds) before rebounding to defeat Mason Ley of Alma, 5-2.

Sophomore Dylan Novisky (Fairport, N.Y./Fairport) was 1-2 at 184 with a pin (6:20) of Matthew Barton from Washington & Jefferson College (Pa.) in the consolation bracket. Novisky opened the day versus No. 1-seed and No. 6 nationally-ranked Greg Rhoads of Wabash.