Former Biglerville standout in NCAA field
Biglerville graduate and Lehigh University senior Laike Gardner will compete in the NCAA Division I wrestling national championships starting Thursday from St. Louis.
Gardner reached the championship tournament for a third consecutive season by placing third in the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Alliance. The mechanical engineering major is seeded 10th in the 149-pound bracket, after rebounding from a loss in an EIWA semifinal to place third.
Gardner (21-8) begins the tournament with a matchup against Michigan's Zac Hall in a Thursday morning first-round bout.
Penn State's Zain Retherford (23-0) is the No. 1 seed.
Wrestlers will need to win four consecutive bouts to reach Saturday's championship.
Gardner was voted Daily Record/Sunday News YAIAA Division II Wrestler of the Year after placing third in the state as a senior. He also earned a second-place medal in the state as a junior, qualifying for the state tournament all four years of high school.
Hanover graduate Ian Brown, a former state champion, finished his sophomore season with Lehigh by going 9-4 with four fouls.
Narrow miss for Bermudian wrestler
Lock Haven wrestler Tristan Sponseller narrowly missed a bid for the NCAA Division I championships, placing third at the Eastern Wrestling League tournament. The redshirt sophomore entered the tournament seeded second in the 197-pound bracket.
Sponseller went 33-7 in the regular season with an 83 percent winning percentage, ranking second on his team in both categories. He improved his career mark to 53-20.
Lock Haven is sending four wrestlers to the NCAA championships, including Solanco's Ronnie Perry, Solanco's Thomas Haines and Boiling Springs' Kyle Shoop.
Northern grad earns honor
Northern York graduate Kyle Koser earned NCAA Division III All-American honors earlier this month. The Messiah College junior placed seventh in the 197-pound weight class in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.
Koser entered the season with a 74-23 career mark, but he recorded his best finish of the season with the seventh-place showing. It marked the second straight appearance at the NCAA championships for Koser. He went 2-2 at the championships last season.
York College duo stands out
York College wrestlers Ryan Flynn and Greg Warner, a Big Spring graduate, also earned All-American honors at the NCAA Division III wrestling championships.
Flynn placed sixth at 133 pounds; Warner placed eighth at 141 pounds. Flynn finishes his career with a 131-35 mark, including a 40-5 record this season. He matched the program's single-season record for wins, a mark set by current head coach Duane Bastress during his second national championship season in 2006. Warner went 32-13 this season and the sophomore has a career mark of 62-24.