by Collin Loutensock
Newman University and Hartman Arena have been selected to host the 2024 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships.
Director of Athletics Joanna Pryor said, “Newman University is excited to serve as host of the 2024 NCAA DII Wrestling Championships. The Newman wrestling program under the leadership of Ryan Smith has grown into a nationally recognized NCAA Division II program.
“The team had an individual national DII champion in 2018 and numerous wrestling All-Americans, so we know how special this event will be for the community. We thank Visit Wichita for their advocacy in submitting the bid for this NCAA championship. We look forward to playing a part in bringing this elite athletic event to a truly great sports town.”
Hartman Arena is no stranger to hosting championship-level sporting events as they have previously hosted NAIA Wrestling Championships, KCAC Conference tournaments along with major concerts.
Smith said, “This is exciting for Wichita and the local wrestling community. Wrestling has a huge following not only at the collegiate level but also down to the local kids club level.
“Hosting this championship is an awesome opportunity to bring a high level of competition to the Midwest for these kids to see. We have been all over the country in all directions traveling for the national tournament; it will be a huge advantage and hopefully, some motivation for our student-athletes to want to participate when we are the host school in 2024.”
Last season, the Jets had two student-athletes advance to the NCAA Division II Championships in Indianapolis before the tournament was canceled.
Newman has had a national qualifier in 10 out of the last 11 years, only missing out in 2013.
In 2018, Noel Torres was able to bring home the first Division II National Championship in wrestling for Newman. In the last five seasons, eight Jets placed high enough at the national tournament to earn All-American honors.