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Lake Erie

Vandermeer Clinches Spot in All-American Rounds at NCAA Championships

Matt Vandermeer (Photo by Ryan Baker/Baker Media Productions)
Matt Vandermeer (Photo by Ryan Baker/Baker Media Productions)

PUEBLO,  COLO.  – Freshman Matt Vandermeer (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) won two matches Friday (March 9) at the NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships in Pueblo, Colo., clinching him a spot in the top eight at 165-pounds to guarantee him All-American status.  Vandermeer will be the first All-American in Lake Erie College wrestling history. 

Classmate Austin Gillihan (Corry, Pa./Corry Area), the other Storm wrestler competing at the national meet, was eliminated from the competition after losing his first two matches.

After losing a 6-4 decision to fourth-ranked Joey Wilson of the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Vandermeer rebounded with a 5-1 victory over Gannon University's Robert Blotzer.  He then decisioned Chris Watson of the University of Central Oklahoma 3-0 to earn a spot in the placing rounds.  It was his second win over Watson, who he also defeated at the NCAA Super Regional 2 two weeks ago. 

The victory in the consolation bracket's opening round was Vandermeer's 30th of the season at 165 pounds as he improved to 31-11 at that weight (32-12 overall) with his 2-1 mark Friday.

Gillihan was pinned in both his contests Friday. He fell to the country's top ranked 125-pounder, redshirt senior Corey Ulmer of Minnesota State University-Moorehead 49 seconds into the second round in the opening match and then was defeated by Newberry College's Jon Cronnin at 2:32. 

Following the two losses, Gillihan ends his season with a 19-17 overall record.

Vandermeer, who can finish as high as third at the tournament, will continue the competition on Saturday beginning at noon EST (10 a.m. local time) at Colorado State University-Pueblo's Massari Arena.