Tyler McLean, a Simon Fraser junior from Mead, capped an outstanding first year of wrestling at the four-year collegiate level by earning NCAA Division II All-America honors by placing fourth at 165 pounds in the D-II nationals.
McLean, a State 4A champion at Mead and junior college All-American at North Idaho College, compiled a 50-13 overall record that included a fifth-place finish at 74kg in a season-opening international tournament at Simon Fraser.
His 50 victories are the most this season for an individual at any NCAA level. He is just the second Simon Fraser men’s wrestler to earn All-America honors.
Four other former Mead State 4A champions – and McLean teammates – had mixed success this season.
Chandler Rogers, a redshirt freshman at Oklahoma State, had a top-12 finish at 174 pounds at the NCAA Division I nationals. Ranked as high as fourth during the season, he won his first two matches at nationals before losing and wound up 2-2, one match away from All-America as the Cowboys placed second.
Rogers’ brother Jordan, a junior at Oklahoma State, was in an out of the Cowboys’ lineup at 184 pounds and did not wrestle in the NCAAs.
Sam Voigtlaender, a junior at Great Falls, had a top-12 finish at the NAIA nationals and was one match from earning All-America at 184 pounds.
Jeremy Golding, a redshirt junior at Purdue, joined the Boilermakers at the semester break following a 1 1/2-year break from wrestling for a mission trip following an NJCAA All-American career at NIC at 149 pounds. He won a championship in a tournament shortly after joining the Boilermakers and was in and out of the Purdue lineup the rest of the season.
“We thought we had five pretty special kids,” said their Mead coach, Phil McLean. “We just didn’t know just how special.”
Eric Ansett, a sophomore at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, from Oaks Academy in Spokane, finally had a breakout tournament during the spring men’s golf season.
Ansett, who had two top-five finishes and two other top-15 finishes during the fall, had struggled during the early going this spring. But that changed last week when he put together a 1-under-par 215, capped by a tournament-best 2-under 70 in the final round, to tie for medalist honors in the First Tee Classic in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Ansett lost in a playoff on the second hole to decide first place, but Lipscomb claimed the team title.
“Today, Eric was just great on a blustery day to shoot the low round of the tournament,” Lipscomb coach Will Brewer said following Tuesday’s final round. “The setup was really tough and challenging and I’m really excited for him and what he did.”
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