February 25, 2019

Wrestlers Qualify for NCAAs

The University of Chicago wrestling team traveled to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, for the Upper Midwest Regional Championships. The Maroons earned a fifth-place finish among the 17 teams and saw first-year Ben Sarasin and third-year Kyle Peisker advance to the National Championships in March.  

Sarasin punched his ticket to the national tournament with a regional title in the 174-pound bracket, becoming the first Maroon wrestler to win a regional championship since 2015. It was an impressive performance by the rookie as he went a perfect 4–0. After reaching the semifinals behind two decisive wins, Sarsin faced his toughest test in Augsburg’s third-year Tanner Vassar.  

In a tight match, Sarasin eventually emerged with a grueling 11–9 decision to advance to the title match and to clinch his spot in Nationals. The first-year faced off against fellow first-year Jaritt Shinhoster of UW–Whitewater. Sarasin captured the Regional title when Shinhoster lost by medical forfeit. Sarasin hopes to follow his strong debut season with an impressive and competitive outing on the national stage.  

“Winning a big tournament is always nice because it validates your training and effort in the room. It lets you know that you’ve been doing it right. I’m really excited to compete in Roanoke for a national title. There will be some great battles and some big moments—those are exactly why I wrestle,” Sarasin said.  

Peisker will join his Maroon teammate at the national tournament. He earned his bid with a third-place finish in the 184-pound bracket, narrowly grabbing a coveted top-three place. The top seed in his bracket, Peisker advanced to the semifinals after a first-round bye and 11–1 major decision victory. In the semifinals, UW–Whitewater’s Nick Stencel edged out Peisker, 15–11.  

With a ticket to nationals still in play, Peisker responded by beating Reed Williams of UW–La Crosse in the consolation semifinals. In an even third place match, Peisker would eventually emerge victorious by the narrowest of margins. Competing against Wheaton’s Isaac Odell, the back-and-forth match came down to the wire. In the end, Peisker’s 7–6 victory proved just enough to get the Maroon to the NCAA Championships.  

Overall, seven wrestlers placed in the top eight over the weekend. Third-year Steve Bonsall and first-year Cole Reimer finished fourth in their brackets, barely missing out on a bid to Nationals. Third-year Kahlan Lee-Lermer, fourth-year Pat Mulkerin, and second-year Chaise Hauck rounded out the Maroon point scorers.  

This will be the first time at Nationals for both Sarasin and Peisker. Peisker, who sits at 32–5 on the year, and Sarsin, at 29–6, will both be competitive and considered contenders for the National title, looking to join Peter Wang (A.B. ’92), as the only Maroons to win an individual championship. The NCAA Championships runs from March 8 to 9 in Roanoke, VA.