Eight Boilermakers entered the NCAA championships on Thursday morning.

For the three seniors that made the tournament, and for one of the largest graduating classes for head coach Tony Ersland, these matches marked what could have been their last moments to leave an impact on Purdue wrestling history after 229 combined career wins.

Four of them walked away with at least one victory against some of the NCAA's best wrestlers. Overall Purdue tied for 23rd nationally.

One wrestler, 125-pound senior Devin Schroder, went as far as the Elite Eight of his class.

Schroder made the first two matches look easy, as he took down a rusty Fabian Gutierrez of the University of Chattanooga in the first round and handed Michigan State's Rayvon Foley his first loss since March 6.

Though his match with Foley was close, Schroder's defense and refined form limited Foley to just one point throughout the entire match, which allowed him to take a victory with just a single takedown.

Schroder's run would stop dead in its tracks in his final match against Iowa senior Spencer Lee, falling to the nation's top 125-pound wrestler by a score of 10-2.

Schroder fought tooth-and-nail against the senior, limiting Lee to just 4 points in two periods with several aggressive attacks. Despite the effort, Lee's determination and stamina would prove to be too much for Schroder to keep up with.

Lee managed to score 6 points in the match's final period to secure the victory on his way to a 125-pound championship win.

For the rest of the wrestlers, wins became hard to come by as they found themselves facing some of the nation's finest wrestlers, with the three other victors making it to the Sweet Sixteen before ending their seasons.

It took an injury to stop one of Purdue's best wrestlers, Kendall Coleman, who was forced to medically forfeit after an injury against North Dakota State 157-pound junior Jared Franek.

As of now, his medical status is unknown.

For the other two wrestlers, 149-pound senior Griffin Parriott and 197-pound sophomore Thomas Penola, two closely contested first-round matches were followed by two crushing defeats by some of their respective weight classes' top performers.

Penola was overtaken by Arizona State senior Kordell Norfleet, while Parriott lost to the eventual 149-pound champion, North Carolina junior Austin O'Connor.

Though there is no confirmation as to whether Purdue's seniors will take their extra year of eligibility, the tournament marked an opportunity for sophomore and junior wrestlers to show they were ready to take the torch from the outgoing seniors.

With Ersland's recruiting classes showing nothing but promise in the last couple of years, the national tournament continues to present Purdue with an opportunity to cement itself as one of college wrestling's most consistent programs.

Recommended for you