Wednesday, March 12, 2014

University, VASJ and Brush will be represented in NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships

Brush grad Tywan Claxton had to fret.

University grads Harrison Hightower and BradleyWukie and VASJ grad Phil Wellington slept easy the past three nights.

Claxton became the fourth wrestler from an area high school to reach the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships when he learned March 12 that he received an at-large bid at 149 pounds. Claxton (26-7), an Ohio University junior, entered waiting mode when he fell in a "true" fourth-place bout at the MAC Championships on March 11.

The NCAA Championships are March 20-22 in Oklahoma City. Claxton has never qualified for the tournament.

In fact, three of the four qualifiers from area high schools will be making their NCAA debuts.

Wellington, an Ohio University sophomore, is the lone NCAA veteran in the group. He qualified for his second national tournament by finishing second in the MAC. Wellington (33-3) received the eighth seed in what could be an unpredictable 197-pound bracket.

Hightower (31-11), a junior and three-time state champ at University, also wrestles for Ohio. He claimed his first NCAA spot by finishing second in the MAC at 165.

Wukie (14-8), a University of Pennsylvania senior, needed the best tournament of his life to earn his NCAA spot. Seeded eighth at 174 pounds, Wukie reached the EIWA finals last weekend.

NCAA wrestling brackets

-- Guy Cipriano | @newsheraldguy

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