FERRUM, Va. -- Ferrum College is making final preparations to host the 2019 NCAA Division III Wrestling National Championships, to be held Friday and Saturday, March 8-9, at The Berglund Center in Roanoke, Virginia.
The Berglund Center is one of the area's premier sports and entertainment venues, and was the former home to the Roanoke Dazzle basketball team, as well as the Roanoke Express and Roanoke Valley Vipers ice hockey teams. Currently, it is the home of the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs of the Southern Professional Hockey League.
This year marks the first time that the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships have been contested in the Commonwealth of Virginia. One previous NCAA Wrestling Tournament has been held in Virginia, back in 1936 when Washington and Lee University hosted the event as an all-divisions tournament. This is the first time Ferrum has hosted a national championship in any sport.
Ferrum Coach Nate Yetzer saw three of his wrestlers qualify for this year's NCAA Tournament with top-three finishes at last weekend's Southeast Regional in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Freshman Levi Englman won the 133-pound weight class, junior Mario Vasquez placed second at 141 pounds and senior Blake Rosenbaum was the 174-pound champion. All three will be making their first NCAA appearances.
"Our entire group of guys wrestled so well at the NCAA Southeast Regionals last weekend at Lycomong College, and I couldn't be more proud of them," said Head Coach Nate Yetzer. "Levi, Mario and Blake all punched tickets to the NCAA Tournament with semifinal wins, and we had freshman 125-pounder Jalen White come close with a fourth-place finish. We're looking forward to hosting the championships this close to campus and plan to make it a quality experience for the entire field of competitors. Fans will be treated to a show, NCAA Division III wrestling is so competitive today and we'll see some exciting action."
Special thanks to VBR Sports out of Roanoke for their support in hosting this year's NCAA Tournament. VBR Sports is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life and economy of Virginia's Blue Ridge by being the leader in promoting and hosting youth, amateur, collegiate and professional sporting events. More about VBR Sports
The NCAA Tournament begins Friday morning at 11:00 a.m. with Session I. Session II begins at 6:00 p.m. Friday, and will be preceded by the opening ceremonies at 4:45 p.m. Session III is set to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday morning. Saturday evening, the Parade of All-Americans begins at 6:15 p.m. and will be followed immediately at 7:00 p.m. by the championship finals. Complete Schedule
Visit Ferrum's championship host site above for information of tickets, schedule and media credentials. Ticket prices are as follows:
- Adult: single session $15, all-session $55
- Youth: single session $12, all-session $43
- Student: single session $12, all-session $43
- Senior citizen: single session $10, all-session $43
- Group adults (10 or more): single session $10, all-session $35
- Group students (10 or more): single session $8, all-session $30
A total of 180 wrestlers from six regionals across the country qualified for the NCAA Tournament. In order to qualify, wrestlers must place in the top three at one of six regionals. NCAA Tournament Qualifiers Announcement
Ferrum has had 12 wrestlers qualify for the NCAA Tournament, led by three-time qualifier Logan Meister, who was Ferrum's first All-American in 2016. Ferrum's NCAA qualifiers include:
- 2014 - Logan Meister (141)
- 2016 - Paul Biggs (149), Logan Meister (157, All-American)
- 2017 - Zack Beckner (125, All-American & NCAA finalist), Collin Saunders (149), Logan Meister (157)
- 2018 - Andrew Tolbert (165), Antavian Leary (197), Alveno Matthews (285)
- 2019 - Levi Englman (133), Mario Vasquez (141), Blake Rosenbaum (174)
The NCAA announced Ferrum's selection as host of the 2019 NCAA Tournament back in April 2017. Ferrum has hosted three NCAA wrestling regionals in the past four years, beginning with the 2015 NCAA East Regional at The Berglund Center. The Panthers also hosted wrestling regionals in Rocky Mount in 2017 and 2018. Ferrum's complete list of NCAA first and second round, regional and national championship hosted events includes:
- 1988 - Football first and second rounds (Rocky Mount)
- 1989 - Football first round (Rocky Mount)
- 1992 - Men's Basketball first round (Ferrum)
- 1996 - Women's Basketball first round (Ferrum)
- 2004 - Baseball Regional (Martinsville)
- 2007 - Baseball Regional (Ferrum)
- 2014 - Women's Basketball first and second rounds (Ferrum)
- 2015 - Wrestling East Regional (Roanoke)
- 2017 - Wrestling East Regional (Rocky Mount)
- 2018 - Wrestling Southeast Regional (Rocky Mount)
- 2019 - Wrestling NCAA Championship (Roanoke)
For more information on the 2019 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships, please visit the link above or contact Ferrum Sports Information Director Gary Holden at firstname.lastname@example.org.