Washington & Jefferson College will host the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Wrestling Championships today at the Salvitti Family Gymnasium. First-round matches will begin at 11 a.m. The awards presentation will take place after the conclusion of all championship bouts.
Schools participating in this year’s championships are three-time defending PAC team champion Waynesburg, Thiel and W&J.
Thiel has won 22 PAC titles, trailing John Carroll (23 straight from 1966-67 to 1988-89) by one for the most in conference history. Waynesburg has won seven PAC titles, while W&J has claimed five PAC titles, with its last coming in 1999.
Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for students. PAC and institutional passes are not accepted at PAC championship events. Students from PAC institutions will be admitted for free with a valid college ID.
The PAC Championships feature double-elimination brackets, with each school having the opportunity to enter two wrestlers in each of the 10 weight classes. The seeding of each program’s top wrestler in the 10 weight classes was determined by a vote of the league’s coaches, and wrestlers from the same team competing in each class will be placed on opposite sides of the bracket. First-round byes will be placed randomly throughout the brackets, as necessary.
There are four returning conference champions scheduled to be in action today. The group is headlined by W&J senior Hunter Neely, a Bentworth graduate, who will be trying to become a four-time PAC champion. Neely won last year’s title at 157 pounds. He won the PAC title at 165 in 2018 after winning the 157-pound title in 2017.
Other returning PAC champions include:
- W&J senior Michael Heinl, who won at 149 last year after winning at 141 pounds in 2018.
- W&J senior Jared Walker, a South Fayette graduate, who won the 165-pound title last year and the 174-pound title in 2018.
- Waynesburg senior Matt Lascola, who won last year at 141 pounds.
All three programs will represent the PAC at this year’s Division III Southeast Regional Championships Feb. 28-29 at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg. The Division III Championships will be held March 13-14 in Grand Rapids, Iowa.