The Heidelberg University wrestling team visited second year head coach Ned Shuck’s alma mater, the University of Iowa, this afternoon on their way to the 2013 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Three Student Princes earned a trip to Cedar Rapids two weeks ago by finishing third or better at the Mideast Regional hosted by Ohio Northern University. Junior 125-pounder Delian Schneider (Tiffin/Columbian), sophomore 184-pounder Richard Dowdley (Cleveland/Ginn Academy) and senior 197-pounder Andy Lovins (Clinton Township, MI./Lake Shore) will be representing the Berg and fighting for the opportunity to call themselves Division III All-Americans.
“We’re ready for this,” said Shuck. “Our guys are confident in their abilities but in order to be successful at a tournament of this magnitude, you not only have to be composed physically but mentally as well and I like where we are mentally,” Shuck added.
For Lovins, the NCAA Wrestling Championships may seem a familiar place considering the 197-pounder is returning for the second consecutive year. Lovins was crowned Ohio Athletic Conference Champion in 2011-2012 after defeating long time foe Michael Pawlitz of Ohio Northern in the OAC Championships.
With no 2012-2013 OAC Tournament, Lovins had to settle for Regional Champion instead. Two weeks ago at the Mideast Regional, Lovins topped Phillip Landis of Elizabethtown College to claim top honors at 197-pounds.
Last season, Lovins went 2-2 at the NCAA Championships missing All-American qualification by one match. Surprisingly, this season Lovins enters the 197-pound weight class unseeded with an overall record of 19-4.
Andy will face number one seed Jared Myhrberg of fourth ranked SUNY College at Cortland in the first round of competition. Myhrberg enters the Championships with an overall record 29-1.
Unlike Lovins, Schneider and Dowdley will be competing at the NCAA Wrestling Championships for the first time in their careers.
Schneider enters the 125-pound weight class also unseeded. Delian, who has amassed 18 wins and only eight losses on the year, is set to battle Charlie Frankel of Delaware Valley College in the first round. The two did not meet during the regular season.
Delian placed third two weeks ago in Ada, receiving a medical forfeit in the consolation championship bout.
Dowdley has had a stellar year for the Berg since he stepped on campus in January and it has now brought him to Cedar Rapids. Like his two teammates, Richard will enter the 184-pound bracket unseeded. However, unlike his teammates, Richard’s first round opponent has yet to be determined.
Dowdley will battle the winner of the wrestle in match between Matt Rieckhoff from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and six seed Sam Upah of number one ranked Wartburg College.
Richard’s overall record of 11-4 is seemingly miniscule compared to other competitors, but the magnitude of those eleven wins truly shows the dedication and potential of this young Student Prince.
Action from the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena is scheduled to begin on Friday morning with the first and second round championship matches along with the first second and third round consolation rounds concluding later that evening. Wrestling on Saturday will showcase the championship semifinals along with the consolation semifinals. The NCAA Championships are set to commence of Saturday evening.