Antonio McCloud wins regional championship, earns a berth in NCAA Championship

Antonio McCloud wins regional championship, earns a berth in NCAA Championship

CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. - Freshman 197-pounder Antonio McCloud (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder) continued his outstanding first season at The Mount over the weekend. He did so by winning the NCAA Division III Central Regional Championship at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind.. McCloud helped the Lions to a 14th place team finish, while punching his ticket to the 2019 NCAA DIII Wrestling National Championship . The NCAA DIII Wrestling National Championship will be held March 8-9, 2019, at the Berglund Center in Roanoke, Va.

McCloud started the weekend off by being given the No. 3 seed in the regional. He earned that right by going 32-2 during the season, and being ranked on the cusp of the top-10 most of the season. In his first match McCloud was given a bye. He made quick work of his second round matchup, in a 13-4 major decision. In the semi-finals Antonio took on the No. 2 seed in the tournament, senior Tyler Hammack from Heidelberg. Hammack came into the tournament as the No. 9, 197-pounder in the nation according to d3wrestle.com. McCloud again was dominant, defeating Hammack 11-4. 

The semi-final win clinched that McCloud would represent The Mount at the 2019 DIII National Championships. He becomes the first MSJ wrestler to qualify for nationals since Wayne Black in 2014. The win also set up a showdown in the finals with the nations No. 6, 197-pounder, senior Zeckary Lehman from Baldwin Wallace. Antonio narrowly defeated Lehman to take the 2019 NCAA DIII Central Region Championship. 

NEXT UP Antonio will travel to Roanoke for the weekend of March 8-9. He will compete there in an attempt to become the first ever National Champion to wear Mount St. Joseph University across his chest. Follow MSJsports.com, as well as our social media channels for indepth coverage of Antonio's trip to nationals.