CHADRON, Neb. -- March 6, 2023 -- Three Chadron State College wrestlers will be competing this weekend at the NCAA Division II National Championships at the Alliant Energy Powerhouse in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
               
The Eagles who qualified during the Super Region 6 Championships that the Eagles hosted on Saturday, Feb. 25 are Quen Campbell of Tifton, Ga., Keegan Gehlhausen of Pinedale, Wyo., and Mason Watt of Broomfield, Colo.
               
Campbell earned his national ticket by winning the 133-pound regional championship in overtime, while Gehlhausen and Watt were the runners-up at 184 pounds and heavyweight, respectively. 
               
CSC Coach Brett Hunter, a two-time national champion while wrestling for the Eagles a bit more than a decade ago, is proud of his trio of qualifiers.  Their dedication and hard work are being rewarded.
               
This will be the first national tourney for each of them while they are wearing a Chadron State uniform.  However, Campbell placed sixth at the NAIA National Tournament in 2017 while attending Brewton Parker College at Mount Vernon, Ga., and was fifth at the National Junior College Tournament last year while he was enrolled at North Iowa Community College at Mason City.
               
At both of the earlier national showdowns, Campbell competed at 141 pounds.  He said dropping down to 133 this year hasn't exactly been fun, but has made him more competitive.
               
Since he's a redshirt freshman, it's natural that this will be Gehlhausen's first trip to nationals.
               
Watt is a senior, so he has been striving to qualify for college wrestling's main event the past three years.
 
It hasn't been a disgrace not to qualify either of the last two years. The same three heavyweights claimed the tickets from Region 6 and went on to place at nationals both times.

In 2021, Weston Hunt of Colorado Mines placed second, Lee Herrington of Nebraska-Kearney was fourth and A.J. Cooper of Fort Hays State was fifth.  Last year, Hunt was fourth, Herrington fifth and Cooper seventh. 

Both Hunt and Cooper concluded their eligibility in 2022, leaving Herrington as the only member of the "big three" for Watt to contend against this season. Yes, Herrington and Watt met in the finals of the heavyweight tussle two weeks ago.

It was definitely close.  Herrington, who had been ranked No. 1 much of the season, won 3-2, getting the winning point with just seconds remaining when the referee accused Watt of stalling.

Watt noted afterwards it didn't make much difference who won that match because both were headed to the national tournament, anyway.

Watt certainly closed out his career at Broomfield High in the Denver area on a high note.  After having weighed more than 300 pounds at one time, he trimmed down less than 285 and placed sixth, fourth and fifth, respectively, as a heavyweight in Class 5A at the Colorado State Tournament his first three years.

As a senior, he shed more weight and it paid off.  He dropped to 220 pounds and was the Class 5A state champion, pinning all of his state opponents before winning the title match 6-3. He had a 134-21 prep career record.

His record at CSC is 66-29, including 18-4 this season.

Watt's first-round opponent at Cedar Rapids is also a veteran.  Listed as a graduate student, Francesco Borsellino of West Liberty University in West Virginia had a 15-3 record while qualifying for nationals in 2021. There, he won two decisions, one of them a major, and was pinned twice before placing seventh by pinning his final foe in the first period.

Borsellino did not qualify last year, but took second in this year's Region 2 showdown, losing to third-ranked Jared Campbell of Glenville State 8-5 in the finals. Borsellino is ranked fifth among the 285-pounders this season.

Heading to nationals, Shawn Streck of Central Oklahoma is No 1 with a 22-0 record and Herrington is second at 24-4.

Both Campbell and Gehlhausen will meet wrestlers from Pennsylvania's Pittsburgh-Johnstown in their first-round matches at nationals.

Campbell's foe will be Byron Daubert, listed as a redshirt sophomore, but a member of the P-J team since 2019-20.  He placed third at 133 pounds at the Super Region 1 Tournament.  Daubert initially lost to William Burgess of Seton Hill University at Greensburg, Pa., 11-2, won his next two bouts and then slipped past Burgess 4-2 in the consolation showdown.

Gehlhausen will be pitted against the Mountain Cats' Brock Briddle, who is ranked sixth at 184 pounds, and claimed his regional championship with a technical fall in his opening match, won by injury default in the semifinals and pinned his final opponent.

This is the fifth time Briddle has qualified for the national tournament, but always before it has been at 174 pounds. One of those years was 2020, when the finals were called off because of COVID.

He was fourth at nationals in 2018-19 and sixth in 2020-21, but did not place a year ago.

Campbell is going to nationals with a 17-1 record and ranked No. 1 at 133 pounds, moving ahead of Eric Bartos of Mercyhurst College in Pennsylvania in the latest poll.

Campbell drew lots of attention when he won a 7-3 decision over Reece Barnhardt of North Dakota's University of Mary at the Kearney Open Tournament in mid-November. 

Barnhardt had placed fourth at the national tourney in 2022 and was ranked No. 1 at 133 pounds when Campbell beat him.  Barnhardt will be at nationals again and is now No. 6 in Division II.

During his career at Tift County High School, Campbell placed third at the Georgia State Tournament as a junior and was the runner-up as a senior.

Gehlhausen has a 15-10 record going to nationals.  One of his wins at the Regional Tourney was a 5-3 decision over Jason Bynarowicz of Colorado Mesa, who had won by pin when they met during a dual earlier in February.

Gehlhausen was a three-time state champion in the Wyoming high school ranks.  He was first at 106 pounds as a freshman in 2018, won the gold medal again in 2019 at 126, slipped to fifth place as a junior at 150 in 2020 when he battled injuries and won the 170-pound
championship as a senior with a perfect 51-0 record.  His final high school record was 168-28.

Senior Billy Higgins of Nebraska-Kearney, who won by a technical fall over Gehlhausen in the Super Region 6 finals and finished third at 184 pounds at last year's nationals, has a 24-2 record and has the No. 1 spot going to Cedar Rapids. 

Golf in Arizona for spring season opener

CHADRON, Neb. -- March 6, 2023 -- The Chadron State women's golf team is in Litchfield Park, Arizona this week for the Southwest Minnesota State Spring Invite and Spring Challenge.

The Spring Invite will be Tuesday March 7 and Wednesday March 8, while the Spring Challenge will be the following two days. Both events will be played at the Wigwam Resort, the first being on the red course and the second on the blue course.

All Chadron State's eight rostered golfers will have a tee time at both events.

At the Eagle's last outing in October 2022, Chadron State finished sixth as a team in Pueblo, Colorado.

Brooke Kramer led the team, finishing tied 8th while shooting 75-82-157. Recent Women's Wrestling national qualifier Kinsey Smith was tied 14th while shooting 160.

Alpine Hickstein and Jordan Grasis finished with a one-shot difference, shooting 165 and 166, respectively, for T32 and T42.

The other Chadron State golfers placing at the event were Kenzey KannoAubree Heinsma and Payton WiseAllison Acosta is the other CSC golfer that is currently on the roster that will be golfing this week.

Hickstein, from Chadron, is the only senior on the team. Grasis, Acosta, Kanno, Kramer and Smith are all juniors, while Heinsma and Wise are freshman.

A list of daily tee times can be found below.


Spring Invite Round 1        Spring Invite Round 2        Spring Challenge Round 1        Spring Challenge Round 2