The news of today reported by the journalists of tomorrow

The Beacon

The news of today reported by the journalists of tomorrow

The Beacon

The news of today reported by the journalists of tomorrow

The Beacon

Wilkes sends six wrestlers to Nationals

David Lee
Senior heavyweight William Fletcher, shown in action here against King’s College, is one of six Wilkes University wrestlers competing for title in the NCAA National Championships.

Fresh off of picking up their East Regional championships Mark Hartenstine, Kris Krawchuk, Myzar Mendoza, Kyle Diesel, Eric Bach, and William Fletcher all set their eyes onto the NCAA National Championships.

These six wrestlers mark the most wrestlers Wilkes University has sent to the national tournament since 2009 and the most since Jon Laudenslager has been the head coach.

“This group of men representing us at the national tournament is a reflection of the environment they have created within our team,” Laudenslager said, “and that is: work hard every day, make the commitment for excellence in all that they do and push themselves and their teammates to get the most of themselves.”

Hartenstine is a redshirt junior competing in the 149-pound weight class. Hartenstine comes from Easton, Pa., and attended Easton High School. He finished all of his matches 38-1 this season and under his respective weight class finished third in the Wilkes Open, and first in the Monarch Invitational, the Messiah Petrofes Invitational, and grabbed a title at the MAC Championships and at the East Regionals.

“Mark is one intense individual who has the confidence of a national champion,” Laudenslager said.

Senior Mendoza hails from Westminster, Md., and attended Winters Mill High School. Mendoza competes in the 133-pound weight class. He finished 26-7 this season and under his respective weight class finished first in the Monarch Invitational, second in the East Regional, and fourth in the Wilkes Open and at the MAC Championships.

“Myzar has had an excellent career and this will be his final chapter in what was one of the finest four years as an athlete that I have coached,” Laudenslager said of his graduating senior.

Bach, a junior, competes in the 197-poundweight class. He comes from Newton, N.J., and attended Kittatiny High School. Bach finished his season at 18-8 and under his respective weight class placed first in the Messiah Petrofes Invitational, third at the MAC Championships, and third in the East Regionals.

“He has all of the tools to place in the tournament if he opens up and keeps his intensity higher than his opponent,” Laudenslager said.

Krawchuk is from Slatington, Pa., and attended Northern Lehigh High School. He is a senior competing in the 157-pound weight class. Kris comes Kris finished his season off 15-5 and under his respective weight class grabbed a championship at both the MAC Championships and the East Regionals.

Laudenslager was brief but confident in Krawchuk’s tournament performance, “Kris is coming off an NCAA runner-up finish who knows how to win matches at this tournament.”

Senior Fletcher competes in the 285-poundweight class. He comes from Ottsville, Pa., and attended Palisades High School. Fletcher finished his season out 24-9 and under his respective weight class placed first at the Messiah Open, second at the Messiah Petrofes Invitational, and third at the East Regionals. Laudenslager had this to say about Fletcher’s progress.

“Fletcher has made a lot of improvement since being here a year ago and can grind out every match for a win,” Laudenslager said.

Diesel, a sophomore competing in the 174-pound weight class, from Westtown, N.Y., and attended Minisink Valley High School. Diesel finished his season 24-12 and placed second in the Monarch Invitational and at the MAC Championships. He also placed third at the East Regionals and seventh in the Messiah Petrofes Invitational.

Laudenslager said he is happy with Diesel’s momentum. “Kyle is peaking at the right time and is wrestling his best right now. Although he has two more years remaining I think he is ready to be an All-American this weekend.”

Grabbing the 800th win in the program’s history set the tone as an already historic year for the Wilkes University wrestling program, and the team is proud and hope to add more to this legacy.

Diesel was especially vocal on just how special the accomplishment was.

“It’s a great feeling to be a part of something that special considering not many programs in the nation have achieved that,” he said. “Hopefully, I can bring back a medal … and, hopefully, we can bring a team trophy as well for Wilkes University.”