By Tim Glon
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Three Ohio Northern wrestlers will compete at the 2013 NCAA III Wrestling Championships Friday and Saturday at the Cedar Rapids Ice Rink in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Competition gets underway with the first and second rounds and the first round consolations on Friday morning beginning at 11 am (CDT).
The championship quarterfinals and the consolation second and third rounds will be held on Friday night at 6 pm (CDT), eliminating all but the top eight wrestlers in each weight class.
The eight remaining All-Americans will compete in the championships semifinals, the consolation semifinals and the third, fifth and seventh place matches on Saturday morning at 10 am (CDT).
The finals are slated for Saturday evening at 7 pm (CDT).
Senior Kyle Kwiat, senior Jeremy Jones and sophomore Cody Lovejoy all qualified for the national championships by posting top-three finishes at the NCAA III Mideast Regional tournament March 2 at Ohio Northern.
Kwiat is looking for his second consecutive national title and will begin competition against Ryan Pieper of Trine (Ind.) in the first round of the 174-pound weight class.
Kwiat is the defending NCAA Champion, is a three-time All-American and has been ranked No. 1 nationally the entire season.
He is ONU's all-time leader with a 154-16 career record and leads the nation with 24 tech falls this season.
Kwiat tied his school wins record with a 41-3 record thus far this season and qualified for the NCAAs by winning the 174 pound title at the Mideast Regional.
Jones is making his first appearance at the NCAA III Championships and will compete in the 133-pound weight class.
He will face No. 2-ranked Nathan Fitzenrider of North Central (Ill.) in the first round on Friday morning.
Jones is a three-time All-Ohio Athletic Conference honoree and is 28-18 this season.
He currently ranks 24th all-time at ONU with a 77-63 career record.
Lovejoy is making his first appearance at the NCAA III Championships and will compete in the heavyweight division.
He will face No. 2-ranked Joe Zitone of Centenary (N.J.) in the first round.
Lovejoy is 32-11 this season with a team-best 17 pins and is a two-time All-OAC honoree.
The Polar Bears went 16-4 in dual meets this season, which included a victory over NCAA I foe Davidson.
Ohio Northern also won the OAC Regular Season title under 25th-year head coach Ron Beaschler in 2012-13.