CRAWFORDSVILLE, IND.— Trine wrestlers Brandon Preston and Mack Green earned berths in the NCAA Division III National Championships , as each wrestler placed third in their respective classes at the Midwest Regional Championship.
Preston (Logansport, Ind./Logansport) gutted out four straight wins after dropping his first match of the day to earn his second-consecutive trip to Nationals. After dropping his first match of the day by pin to Dustin Weinmann of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Preston started his push back towards a National bid with a pin of Wheaton's Gregory Manfredi. The junior followed that match with a dominant 9-1 victory by major decision over Zachary Case of Alma College. Preston reached the third-place match with a narrow 8-6 decision over Elmhurst's Miguel Venecia.
It took overtime for Preston to earn the third-place finish. He and no. 1 seed Layten Binion of North Central battled to a 1-1 tie through three periods, but Preston came out aggressive in the overtime stanza to earn the victory.
Preston has now reached the National Championships in two different weight classes. After narrowly missing All-American honors at 125 lbs last season, Preston will have a chance to compete at 133 lbs in this year's meet. He carries a 24-13 record into the national meet.
Green (Buchanan, Mich./Buchanan) became Trine's second performer to earn a bid in the National tournament with his performance in the Heavyweight division. The sophomore started his day with a 3-0 decision over Dan Vargas of Elmhurst, an opponent he would end up seeing again later in the day. Green fell out of the championship bracket after being edged by Wisconsin-Whitewater's Anthony Edgren.
A pin of North Central's Dustin Mahler in 1:21 put Green in the third-place match, where he once again faced off with Vargas. Green was able to pick up the 2-0 win by decision to lock up his first-career appearance in the national tournament.
Green will carry a 28-6 overall record into the National Championships. The NCAA Division III National Championships will be held March 14-15 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.