The Parkside wrestling team competed at the NCAA Division II Championships March 10-11 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Rangers had three wrestlers finish in the top eight for their respective weight classes, earning All-American honors. The top finisher for the Rangers was Jalen Spuhler, our Kenosha.com Ranger of the Week.
How it happened
At 149 pounds, the redshirt sophomore from Hartford took on Darick Lapaglia from Central Missouri in the opening round. Spuhler trailed late in the third period, but was able to come up with a clutch takedown in the closing seconds to win in a 6-4 decision. The takedown was initially not called, but a challenge from Parkside coach Nick Becker overturned the call to give Spuhler 19 extra seconds to earn yet another takedown and win his first match.
In the quarterfinals, Spuhler faced third-ranked Nick Young of Gannon. In a battle between top-10 wrestlers, Spuhler got off to an early 2-0 lead, but found himself trailing entering after two periods. In the final period, Spuhler got a much-needed takedown that propelled him to victory and helped him earn his first All-American honor.
Spuhler was pinned by second-ranked Josiah Rider of Adams State in the semifinals to open the second day, which sent him into the consolation round. In the consolation semifinals, Spuhler dominated Drik Filippo of Central Oklahoma to move into the third-place match.
In the third-place match, Spuhler faced a familiar opponent in seventh-ranked Wyatt Turnquist of Northern State. Spuhler and Turnquist were close after one period, but it was Turnquist who pulled away late to defeat Spuhler in a 10-5 decision. Spuhler finished his first NCAA tourney appearance in fourth place with an overall record of 30-9.
Spuhler began wrestling when he was in kindergarten, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who both grew up wrestling. Spuhler also played soccer and football growing up, but ultimately chose to stick to wrestling. Spuhler is the third member of his family to compete in college athletics for a UW school. His aunt ran track at UW-La Crosse and his cousin also played basketball for UW-La Crosse. Spuhler is currently studying business management at Parkside.
The wrestling season has come to a close, but there is still plenty of action to be seen at Parkside. Baseball and softball home games are right around the corner and tickets are on sale now. For more information, visit parksiderangers.com.