‘Cats clubs qualify for nationals

Mason Schweizer and Ryan Collins

‘Grateful Eight’ grapple to conference title


Conference couldn’t have gone much better for the wrestling ‘Cats this past weekend in Fort Collins. Not only did all eight of the WSC Wildcats qualify for NCWA Nationals in Florida, but coach Aaron Schuett received the Coach of the Conference award.

“I would have never been able to do it without this great group of kids,” Schuett said. “They’ve really bought into everything I’ve thrown at them and continue to work hard every day.”

WSC managed to outscore all seven of the other club teams competing this weekend, including those from prestigious schools such as the University of Iowa, Colorado State University, and United States Air Force Academy Prep, which finished second behind WSC.

The Wildcats prepared for this weekend while sustaining an impressive 3.24 team GPA.

The ‘Cats performed solidly as a team, but also had three first place individual finishes as well. This included Nicolas Gonzalez (125), Paxton Sternberg (133) and Ryan Nightser (174).

“We had a great weekend,” Schuett said. “We got on a roll early, and kept it up the whole meet. We also had great leadership out of Devon Rupp and Spencer Trout all year that helped us prepare.”

Gonzalez started his weekend off with two pins that were almost identical in time. He took down his first two opponents in 1:39 and 1:16. Repeating the pattern, he also pinned his third round opponent Kramer from Iowa. It wasn’t until his fourth and final round that Gonzalez had to finish an entire match against Brungardt from CSU, ending in a 13-9 decision in Gonzalez’s favor.



Both Sternberg and Nightser ran through their opponents, winning by pins in all three of their rounds. Nightser proved to be consistent, having two speedy pins in only 1:10 in his first and third round.

“Everyone came out and competed well,” Sternberg said. “It was really amazing how well we did when we were only competing in eight of the eleven weight classes.”

WSC also recorded three second place and two third place finishes. All together the ‘Cats scored 75.5 team points, a good eleven points ahead of the next team.

The Wildcats head to Florida during spring break and will compete March 10-12 at nationals.

“Considering we had three first and second place finishers in conference, we should get really good seeding and first round matchups in Florida,” Rupp said. “We just have to keep moving forward and take the next step to finish it out.”

Wildcat placers
Nicolas Gonzalez (125); 4-0; 1st place
Paxton Sternberg (133); 3-0; 1st place
Devon Rupp (141); 2-1; 2nd place
Spencer Sackett (149); 0-2; 3rd place
Caleb Thomas (157); 2-1; 2nd place
Ryan Nightser (174); 3-0; 1st place
Spencer Trout (184); 1-2; 3rd place
Jacob Schwartz (285); 0-2; 2nd place



Curling ‘Cats slide into last spot in nationals


In just its second year, the Wayne State curling team is already the envy of curling clubs throughout the nation.

The curling ‘Cats will head to Chaska, Minn., for the national championship March 11-13. They were the last team to make the field, seeded 16th out of 16 teams. The 16 teams will participate in a pool-play tournament to decide the best club curling team in the country.

But for head coach Camron Groenke, WSC is thrilled to just have the opportunity to compete for the title.

“This has only been our second season, but it has definitely been a surprise,” Groenke said. “I couldn’t be more happy with how this season progressed.”

To add to the already improbable story of a new club making the national tournament in just year two, the team initially didn’t qualify, as they were ranked 18th at the end of the regular season.

But when one school had some matches disallowed due to rules infractions and Wisconsin-Green Bay having to withdraw, the 18th ranking was enough for the ‘Cats to qualify.

“Everyone is so pumped and ready to compete at nationals,” Groenke said. “With [everyone on the team] having no more than two years experience, it has been a tremendous experience and relief to everyone on the team for all of the hard work and traveling that we have put into this team.”

Groenke is grateful for the help that the team has received from the student senate, who have helped answer questions and raise money for the new club, as well as advisor Jeff Meyer, who Groenke said has been very supportive since the club’s inception.

The entire tournament will be streamed online, with additional information available on the club’s Facebook page, Wayne State Curling Club.

The curling fun will not end with the national tournament, as Groenke said they are aiming to put together several events once the season ends. Students are welcomed to join the club for these events, and can email Groenke at [email protected] for more information.