By Caleb Scott
ADA — The Ohio Northern wrestling team returned to the NCAA Div. III National Championships for the first time since 2015 and finished the 2017-18 season on a strong note under the guidance of 30th-year head coach Ron Beaschler.
The Polar Bears finished the season with a 9-10 record and an even 3-3 mark in the Ohio Athletic Conference.
Three Polar Bears were named All-OAC in 2017-18, as seniors Seth Meyer (Defiance) and Gavin Nelson (Oregon/Clay) were named Second Team All-OAC and sophomore Nate Barcaskey (Moon Township, Pa./Moon Area) was named First Team All-OAC.
Barcaskey, a heavyweight, is a repeat First Team All-OAC pick and is a perfect 12-0 in OAC regular season dual meet competition.
This season, he was 28-10 with with eight pins and finished second at the NCAA Division III Central Regional tournament. Barcaskey earned a trip to the NCAA Div. III National Championships for his efforts at the Regional Meet.
Nelson also qualified for the NCAA III Championships with a third place finish in the 157-pound weight class at the NCAA Central Regionals.
He finished the season with a 25-10 record with six pins and went 5-1 in OAC regular season duals.
Nelson was also a First Team All-Conference honoree last season as a junior and is 69-35 in his three seasons as a Polar Bear.
Meyer went 22-15 with one pin at 165 pounds this season. He finished with a 4-2 record in OAC regular season duals and placed sixth at the NCAA Regional Championships.
He is now a two-time Second Team All-Conference honoree and ended his career with a 69-61 record.
Nelson was joined by senior Alex Bair (Centerville), junior Clayton Davidson (Kirtland), sophomore Seth Transue (Plain City/Dublin) and freshman Alex Kowal (Cincinnati/Bishop Fenwick) as the five all were named National Wrestling Coaches Association Scholar All-America.
The five honorees are the most in ONU program history and brings the total to 56 over the history of the program.
The Polar Bears were also named a Scholar All-America team and ranked 19th nationally with an impressive 3.47 team GPA.
It marks the ninth time since 1999 that the team has been recognized as a top-25 Scholar All-American Team.