With the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point baseball, softball, swimming and hockey teams on breaks in their respective schedules this past week, the spotlight shifted towards the UWSP wrestling and track & field teams.
Neither team disappointed.
In NCAA Championship competition over the weekend, UWSP’s track and wrestling teams shined, as both came away with All-American and National Champion representatives.
Track and Field Finishes Fourth in Indoor Championships
The UWSP track and field team placed fourth at the NCAA Indoor Championships. The Pointers racked up eight All-America honors to close the indoor portion of the team’s season.
Jerry Williams was responsible for three of them, earning the distinction in the triple jump, fourth place, and 60-meter dash, with a seventh place finish. The senior also won the National Championship in the long jump, an event in which Williams repeated as an All-American.
Jeremy Lee and Brent Reierson also earned All-America accolades for the Pointers. Lee finished in sixth place in the heptathlon, while Reierson placed seventh in the shot put event.
The women’s 4×400-meter relay team of Kathy Derks, Leah Trempe, Sarah Vils and Hannah Mertens turned their strong indoor season into an All-American nod. The quartet of Pointers finished eighth in the event with a time of 3:53.74.
The Pointers now await the start of their outdoor track season, which begins with the Carroll Invite on April 1 in Waukesha.
Hermsen Wins Second Straight National Title at 165 Pounds
UWSP senior wrestler Logan Hermsen earned his second straight National Championship in the 165-pound weight division during Saturday’s NCAA Wrestling Championships.
Hermsen encountered stiff competition on his way to repeating as champion.
He first faced Larry Cannon of Messiah College, who pushed Hermsen to a 4-4 standstill after two rounds of action. However, Hermsen pulled away in the waning seconds of the third period, scoring four quick points via takedown and near fall to advance with an 8-4 victory.
In the championship match, Hermsen met Johnson and Wales’ Stephen Jarrell.
Neither scored in the opening period, but Hermsen struck first in the second period after escaping a Jarrell hold. Jarrell and Hermsen traded points throughout the second period, leaving the score tied at two entering the final period.
After neither competitor could gain a point in the third, the match — and championship — went to sudden victory. In the end, Hermsen scored a two-point takedown of Jarrell to clinch his second straight National Championship.
The event also saw sophomore Donny Ralston earn an All-American accolade in the 285-pound division. Ralston finished sixth in his weight class, highlighted by his 5-4 overtime victory against Ithaca’s Jake O’Brien.
Ralston faced second-seeded Lance Evans of Wartburg College in the following round, coming back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the score at three apiece with a reversal, followed by a hand-locking violation against Evans. However, Evans used a late surge to advance past Ralston, 6-3.
Ralston fought valiantly versus Oneonta’s James Bethel in the fifth-place match, but his comeback bid would fall short as Ralston fell 8-6.
Ralston, who became the first heavyweight to be named All-American since Mike Hayes in 2006, finished his sophomore season with a 41-12 mark.