Tue, Jul. 3, 2012 - [Wrestling]
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced Monday that Loras College has been selected as one of six NCAA Division III regional hosts in the upcoming 2012-13 wrestling season. The event is part of a shift in the selection process for the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships – hosted in 2012-13 at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Previously, the championships field was determined by seven automatic qualifying tournaments at the conference level and two regionals, supplemented by a wild card selection process totaling 170 participants. This format streamlines the process into a six-site regional system with the top three wrestlers in each weight class advancing to Cedar Rapids, accounting for 180 wrestlers spread over the 10 weight classes.
The Five Flags Center – which also hosts Loras' early season Loras Open – will play host to the Central Region event on March 2, 2013. The venue previously hosted both the 2004 and 2007 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships.
"It is really an honor for us to be selected to do this in the first season under this format," head coach Randy Steward said on Monday.
"Our conference is widely regarded as the best in the country and we have the support of the league behind us in hosting this event next February. I want to thank Denise Udelhofen (Associate Athletic Director), our coaches in the league, and our commissioner Chuck Yrigoyen, for backing us in this bid. We all want to provide the best possible regional we can, especially since we've got the opportunity to do this first."
Loras College's Associate Athletic Director Denise Udelhofen echoed Steward's reaction.
"This is another great opportunity for us to showcase our own student-athletes, campus, and Dubuque community to a new group of student-athletes, coaches, and their families and fans," Udelhofen said.
"Our experience with the previous national wrestling events and soccer regionals and sectionals has us as prepared as ever to host a great event. It truly is a tremendous opportunity for Loras College. We will start as early as this summer in executing our plan for a successful regional."
The regional will include each of the eight Iowa Conference schools in 2012-13 as well as Augustana College (Ill.), Knox College, and former Iowa Conference member Cornell College.
"It is clear now exactly what you have to do to qualify," added Steward.
"You'll know going in you need to be in the top three, period."
The other regional sites in 2013 are:
Ewing, New Jersey - East Regional, The College of New Jersey
Ada, Ohio – Mideast Regional, Ohio Northern University
Elmhurst, Illinois – Midwest Regional, Elmhurst College
Worcester, Massachusetts – Northeast Regional, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Minneapolis, Minnesota – West Regional, Augsburg College
READ THE FULL NCAA.COM RELEASE HERE