Hilltoppers to Host 2022 NCAA Wrestling Regional


Hilltoppers to Host 2022 NCAA Wrestling Regional

WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. – The West Liberty University wrestling team will have the opportunity to defend its 2021 NCAA Division II Super Region Three crown on its home mat next season.

   The NCAA announced Monday that West Liberty has been selected to host the 2022 NCAA Division II Super Region Three championship tournament. The one-day event is scheduled for Feb. 26, 2022 inside the ASRC on the Hilltopper campus.

   Wrestlers from the following Super Region 3 schools – Ashland, Davenport, Findlay, Glenville State, Indianapolis, Lake Erie, Notre Dame (Ohio), Ohio Valley, Tiffin and Wheeling – will join the Black and Gold in the battle to qualify for the 2022 National Championships. The NCAA Division II Nationals will return to the Americas Center in St. Louis for the second straight year on March 11-12, 2022.

   “We’re excited and honored to have been chosen to host the 2022 NCAA Division II wrestling regional,” WLU athletic director Lynn Ullom said. “We have a long history of successfully conducting first-class NCAA events at our venues and appreciate the opportunity to bring yet another championship tournament to the Ohio Valley.”

   This marks the fourth time West Liberty has been selected to host an NCAA Division II regional wrestling event, having hosted previous regionals in 2002, 2015 and 2019. The Hilltoppers also served as host school for the 2003 NCAA Division II National Wrestling Championships at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling and have hosted numerous regional championships in such various sports as basketball, softball and golf over the years.

   "Having the opportunity to host another NCAA regional isn't just a great thing for us, it's a great thing for all the other Super Region 3 teams," head coach Danny Irwin said. "Hosting these events is no small or easy task but our administration and staff always do an astounding job of ensuring a first-class experience for all the coaches and student-athletes. I’m sure that’s why we’ve been selected to host so many championship events.”

   Irwin, the reigning Super Region 3 Coach of the Year, and his Hilltoppers are looking to build on the momentum from their historic 2021 season. West Liberty won the school’s first-ever NCAA Division II regional title, placed fourth at the NCAA Nationals in St. Louis – WLU’s highest national finish in program history – and had multiple national champions for the first time in more than 60 years of wrestling on the hilltop.

   With a star-studded nucleus returning and another bumper recruiting crop on the way, the Hilltoppers are committed to making another trophy run at nationals and can’t wait to go for back-to-back regional titles in front of their loyal fans.

   “After the year we’ve all gone through, a nice bonus to having the regional here is helping give some of our local Ohio Valley businesses a little boost as they work to get back to where they want to be,” Irwin said. “I know our coaches and student-athletes are looking forward to having a full and raucous crowd in the arena next February, which will definitely give our guys a bump in their performance!"