Jace Fisher is set to represent Newman University in the NCAA DII National Wrestling Championships in Cedar Falls, Iowa on March 10-11.
Fisher has been on a mission this season. The sophomore is 23-7 on the season and has been no stranger to success in his second year as a Jet. Fisher placed first in the Drury Open at the 165 weight class and has placed top three in the Younes Hospitality Open (second) and the Falcon Invite (third), and showed out big time in the NCAA DII Super Regional IV in Edmond, Oklahoma where he defeated both Noah Villarreal from McKendree and Jaylon Otero from Ouachita Baptist to punch his ticket to Cedar Rapids to compete in the national championship tournaments. Fisher made it to the first place match in Edmond before losing in a 6-0 decision against Central Oklahoma’s Gabe Johnson. (NCAA Super Regional IV recap)
On December 6th, Jace was named the MIAA Co-Wrestler of The Week after his 1st place finish in the Drury Open. (Release)
Fisher rode a three match win streak heading into the Super Regional in Edmond and finished his last six matches 5-1 with wins at Fort Hays State (12-3 major decision), The Battle of The Belt vs Labette (Fall 2:41), Central Missouri (11-2 major decision), and two in Edmond to send him to nationals.
“When I secured my spot at nationals I was overcome with emotion. I realized that I finally have the opportunity to achieve my ultimate goal of becoming a national champion,” Fisher said.
The second year Jet has had a great staff behind him that has shaped him into a National Championship contender. On the Jets coaching staff is the last Newman wrestler who competed at the NCAA DII National Championships representing. Kameron Frame made two trips to the national tournament when he was a wrestler for Newman. Frame qualified for a third but his trip ended when the pandemic canceled the championships. The recent graduate has been a mentor for Fisher since he joined the staff.
“Kameron has really brought his ‘A-game’ as a coach this year. It’s been a blessing to have him as a mentor and a practice partner in the room. When it comes to the coaching overall, it is phenomenal,” Fisher said.
“I have a very tight connection between each of the coaches, and every single one of them have been heavily invested in my success this season. I also have a very positive connection with our team as well. We have a young team, and I’ve given effort to be a good role model for these newcomers.”
The Jets are graduating just one wrestler, who also has a chance to return next year.
Fisher has been honing his skills on the mat and has focused more on the small things this season. He’s used those skills to put together a remarkable sophomore campaign.
“What stood out to me most this season is that the small things really matter. Not even the smallest of details can be over-looked to be able to succeed at the collegiate level. It has taken some serious time, work, and patience to identify what adjustments I’ve needed to make, not just on the mat, but off the mat as well,” Fisher added.
Fisher will enter the national stage Friday morning when he opens his championship competition against Tiffin University’s (Ohio) Casey Barnett. If Fisher wins his opening match he is slated to take on the winner of Logan Bailey (uINDY) and Jack Haskin (Lake Erie – OH) Friday night. (Full bracket)
While Fisher will have support in his family at Cedar Rapids, he will also have plenty of support coming from home. Fisher is no stranger to the Greater Wichita area, having grown up just a short 20 minutes away from campus. The sophomore takes pride in being able to represent Newman on the big stage.
“It’s a great feeling to be able to represent Newman University. I grew up in Garden Plains which is right next door to Wichita, and Newman University is a place I call home,” Fisher said.