WREST: Two colonels finish year at NCAA championships

Two members of the wrestling team wrapped up their individual seasons at the NCAA Championships. First-year Austin Fashouer and junior Colton Babock both went to the Championships for the first time in their careers.

Both Fashouer and Babcock were looking to earn Wilkes’s first All- American honors since 2015. Although they did not finish top eight to earn those honors, Fashouer and Babcock deemed their seasons as successful.

The two of them and their coaching staff traveled to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to compete in the NCAA Championships that were held at Alliant Energy Powerhouse.

“The venue was pretty awesome,” said Babcock. “Just the way they had the arena set up. They gave us medallions and water bottles. You had to use your pass to get in. It was pretty official and cool.”

Babcock went up a weight class this season to join the 184-pounders. He lost a close back and forth 13-9 matchup in the first round to Lucas Salmon of Baldwin Wallace Univesity.

He then fell for the second time in the consolation bracket to finish the tournament. Babcock finished his year with an overall record of 30-5.

Fashouser was as impressive as a first- year could be in the college wrestling world. He went toe-to-toe with everyone he stepped on the mat with all season long in the 125-pound class.

“My mom was my biggest supporter,” said Fashouer. “She passed when I was a freshman in high school, and I have a tattoo on my back to push me all the way through.”

Fashouer used that motivation all the way to the NCAA Championships. He trailed 6-3 going into the third set, but Fashouer used a quick escape and a takedown to tie the match at six all.

Unfortunately, his opponent, Justin Lopez from Johnson & Wales, was awarded an escape point just as time was expiring to earn the win.

Fashouer would lose in the consolation round to conclude his outstanding first year as a collegiate wrestler with a record of 32-6.

Babcock and Fashouer are looking to use this experience of competing at the highest level later in their careers.

While this was Babcock’s last year wrestling, he knows the lessons he learned on the mat will help him as he looks to join the State Police Academy.

Fashouer now understands what it takes to reach the All-American level he is striving for and the improvement to make heading into his sophomore year.

“Austin and Colton had great years, and although they did not get All- American status, we are proud of the way they represented the Colonels all year long,” said head coach Jon Laudenslager. “They wrestle a style we like to coach, and wrestle extremely hard.”

All stats were found at gowilkesu.com.

Photos: The Beacon/Ariel Reed Junior Colton Babcock tries to get his opponent to submit on Senior Day against Scranton Univesity
First-year Austin Fashouer takes down his opposition during a match against the rival Royals.