Heading to Nationals

Dixon and Homsey’s regional performance earns them both berths to the big dance

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • Braden Homsey, senior, lets fly with a primal scream after advancing to the national tournament to be held in Roanoke this weekend.

  • Braden Homsey, senior, celebrates after qualifying for the national tournament to be held this weekend at the Berglund Center in Roanoke.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right

Compiled by Staff

Panther wrestlers Braden Homsey, senior, Rayshawn Dixon, sophomore, will be riding the wrestling train for one more week after both matters placed in the top three of their respective weight classes at the Southeast Regional, held Feb. 24-25 at York College of Pennsylvania’s M&T Fieldhouse/Grumbacher Sport & Fitness Center.

The pair qualified for the 2023 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships and will be competing at the Berglund Center in Roanoke this coming weekend.

Homsey made it through with a semifinal win earlier in the day, beating No. 2 seed Cameron Butka of Wilkes University 7-5 to reach the finals. Homsey lost in the title match, falling 9-4 to top seed Camden Farrow during the match at York.

Dixon was in the consolation round to open the day and needed three wins to get through to the NCAA Tournament. He opened with a 9-1 major decision over Jacob Freese of King’s College, then posted an 8-0 major decision over Austin Williams of Delaware Valley University to reach the third-place match. Dixon then beat Palmer Rodenhaber of Alvernia University 5-3 in a sudden death victory, securing the win with a double-leg takedown in overtime for the win.

“It felt astonishing to achieve what we worked for all season,” Dixon said. “I had a rough first day but battled back and had a better performance the second day.”

Dixon said the best moment for him came in the overtime match to solidify his qualification.

“My teammates and the crowd were cheering me on–and then getting the match-winning takedown felt exhilarating,” Dixon said.

According to Homsey, winning the match was euphoric.

“I thought it was a dream and I was gonna wake up,” Homsey said. “I got that last takedown (to secure the win) with 8 seconds left in the third to win 7-5.”

Homsey believed it to be the best outing of his athletic career.

“Obviously, I believe nationals will be where I surpass myself, but yes, that was my best performance,” he said.

Homsey described the regional competition as extremely tough.

“We have the second-toughest region in the nation as far as the amount of All-Americans we have,” Homsey said. “I had to beat a Top-Five All-American in the quarter-finals and a past national qualifier in the semis just to make it to nationals.”

Homsey is hoping for victory but also has his sights set on a goal just shy of the tallest podium.

“I have to win my first two matches to All-American and make it to the next day. To All-American, you have to place in the Top 8.”