Baker races to title, Dragons 3rd at D-II national meet

Area College Roundup

PITTSBURG, Kansas — Jonte Baker nearly matched his school record time in winning the 60-meter dash Saturday, helping Tiffin University finish third in a tightly-contested team race at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Meanwhile, in the women’s meet, TU high jumper Marisa Gwinner set a school record en route to capturing third, equaling the best finish in program history by a female Dragon.

Baker led TU’s men, capturing the 60 in 6.62 seconds, a mere one-hundredth of a second away from his school record and just three-hundredths of a second ahead of runner-up Mobolade Ajomale of Academy of Art.

Tiffin also got 11 combined points from its shot put crew. Jabara Bennett earned All-American honors by taking third with a throw of 60-10 1/2, while Nikolas Curtiss ended fourth with a heave of 60-8 1/2. Eric Jackson also competed, finishing 15th (55-5 3/4).

Four Dragons earned All-American status Friday on the meet’s first day.

Cameron Burrows led that charge by claiming third in the high jump, tying the school record by clearing 7-0 1/2.

Toryko Grace added a sixth in the weight throw (67-4), while sevenths went to Davis Bowers in the pole vault (16-11) and Quincy Scott in the long jump (24-7 1/4).

Ashland edged Adams State 38-37 for the men’s team title, with the Dragons holding off Grand Valley State 34-33 1/4 for third.

It marked the fourth year in a row that the Dragons finished in the top three or higher at the indoor national championships. After two national championships in 2016 and 2017, TU was second in 2018.

In the women’s meet, Gwinner cleared 5-8 1/2 to tie LaGae Brigance of TAMU-Kingsville third. That tied the third place finish Ashley DeWitt registered in the shot put for TU in 2013.

Tiffin also had two competitors in the shot put. Nicole Berry placed 14th (47-9 1/4) while Brenda Johnson took 16th (46-4).

TU’s Mason claims crown, Grine second at nationals

CLEVELAND — Nicholas Mason captured Tiffin University’s second national title and Trey Grine earned the team’s first runner-up finish Saturday at the NCAA Division II Championships at The Wolstein Center in Cleveland.

The placings led the Dragons to eighth in the team standings with 45 points, the best finish ever at the national meet in program history.

Mason, competing in his first national tournament, (27-7) joined Garrett Gray as a national champion for the Dragons by taking the 197-pound crown with a 5-2 win against St. Cloud State’s Vince Dietz.

The loss was just the second of the year for Dietz (31-1).

Mason pinned Millersville’ Colton Dull (2:39) earlier Saturday in the semifinals to reach the title match.

His championship came shortly after Grine was upended in his bid for the 149-pound title.

Grine (20-2) fell 7-2 to unbeaten Chris Eddins (23-0) of Pitt-Johnstown, who captured his second national title in a row. Eddins won the 141-pound crown last year.

Grine, a three-time national qualifier who had never placed there before, reached the finals by pinning Newman’s Kameron Frame (:45) in the semifinals.

Grine and Mason dominated in their matches Friday to reach the semifinals.

Grine opened by beating Adams State’s Noah Hermosillo 15-6 before pinning Findlay’s Josh Wimer (1:56).

Mason was even more impressive, pinning Limestone’s Clif-Steven Decius (4:24) and Western Colorado’s Dylan McBride (5:20).

Mason and Grine’s finishes give the Dragons nine national placers in their first 10 years of competition. Tiffin began its wresting program during the 2009-10 season.

Gray is one of three two-time national placer so far for TU, taking fourth at 285 pounds in 2014-15 before getting his title two years later at the same weight.

Jake Cramer added a fourth at 197 pounds in 2014-15 and a sixth at the same weight in 2015-16 for the Dragons, while Mike Screptock ended fourth at 141 pounds in 2014-15 and sixth at 149 pounds in 2016-17.

Kevin Christman added a seventh at 285 pounds in 2012-13 for TU.

HU’s Roth ends sixth in the nation

ROANOKE, Virginia — Saturday was a tough second day for Heidelberg 184-pounder Dylan Roth at the Division III National Championships, but the junior closed out his year as an All-American.

“It was a tough end to a fantastic season,” Heidelberg coach Tony Patrizi said. “An injury in the consolation semis forced us to default the fifth/sixth match.”

Roth is Heidelberg’s first All-American since Justin Kihn earned the recognition in 2016 at the 141 weight class.

Roth ended the year 40-3, suffering his only defeats Saturday. He tied Richard Dowdley (2014-15) for the second most victories in a season.

“Dylan showed tremendous mental focus the entire season,” Patrizi said. “At the end of the day, he is the same Dylan he was two days ago … fun, dedicated, and a great teammate.”

With All-American status already secured after Day 1, Roth squared off against Western New England’s John Boyle in the championship semifinals Saturday.

However, Boyled doubled him up 6-3 to advance to the title match and Roth dropped to the consolation semifinals against Merchant Marine’s Joshua Glantzman.

Glantzman battled to a 5-1 win, with Roth suffering an injury along the way.

The injury forced Roth to forfeit his next match against Chicago’s Kyle Peisker to end sixth.

Roth had a better day Friday.

He won both of his opening day bouts Friday, but not without some early difficulty.

The junior doubled up Messiah’s Victor DeFrance 12-6 in the opener, but the match went back and forth and Roth scored a takedown just before the end of the first period for a 7-6 lead.

Neither scored in the second period and Roth pulled away in the third.

Roth then beat Augsburg’s Solomon Nielsen 9-3 to ensure himself an All-American finish.

Tyler Hammack bowed out on the tournament’s first day after going 1-2 at 197 pounds.

Hammack fell 12-4 to Coast Guard’s Jonathan Wagner in the opener, bounced back to beat Thiel’s Gage Gladysz 5-1 and then lost 4-2 to Lycoming’s Travis Ogden.

He ended his senior year 28-7, putting him in the top 30 for season wins for the Student Princes. His 79 career victories ties him for 25th all time with Ricahrd Dowdley for Heidelberg, and he is Heidelberg’s 20th two-time national qualifier.

“I want to thank Tyler Hammack for his fantastic career,” Patrizi said. “He is one of the most selfless wrestlers I have ever coached. I couldn’t be more proud of him.”