February 13, 2013

New Format Awaits Wrestlers At WIAC Championship

UW-Oshkosh earned the fourth seed and faces fifth-seeded UW-Platteville in the first round of the WIAC Wrestling Championship on Sunday (Feb. 17) in Eau Claire. Competition begins at 9 a.m. in UW-Eau Claire's McPhee Physical Education Center.

For the first time in the championship's 58-year history, the event features a dual-meet format. The six participating teams were given seeds based on their performance in WIAC dual meets held during the regular season.

UW-Whitewater obtained the top seed after defeating all five of its league opponents. UW-La Crosse (4-1) is seeded second, UW-Stevens Point third (3-2) and UW-Eau Claire sixth.

The winner between UW-Oshkosh (5-9, 2-3 WIAC) and UW-Platteville (5-8, 1-4 WIAC) meets defending WIAC champion UW-Whitewater (12-3) in the second round. The Warhawks are ranked fourth in the NCAA Division III by the National Wrestling Coaches Association, UW-La Crosse fifth and UW-Stevens Point ninth.

Teams will compete in at least two dual meets, with the title contest scheduled for 3 p.m.

Nazar Kulchytskyy (Jr. • Sosnivka, Ukraine) has led UW-Oshkosh this season. The 165-pounder is ranked second nationally with a 32-1 record (19 pins). Last year, he won the 157-pound title at both the WIAC and NCAA Division III championships.

Qualification for the NCAA Division III Championship will be based on regional competition held March 2. UW-Eau Claire, UW-Oshkosh and UW-Platteville will compete in a regional hosted by Augsburg College (Minn.), while UW-La Crosse, UW-Stevens Point and UW-Whitewater travel to Elmhurst College (Ill.). The national championship is March 15-16 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.