GOSHEN — Blake Glogouski qualified for the NCAA national championships in three of his four seasons for the Lake Erie Storm wrestling program.
Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond his control, he didn’t get to make his third and final trip this season.
Glogouski won the 133-pound division at the NCAA Division II Regionals at the University of Indianapolis on Feb. 29 to qualify for the national championships in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, from March 13-14.
Glogouski and his junior teammate, Chris Droege, regional champion at 197 pounds, were in Sioux Falls when they learned the championship finals had been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We practiced on Wednesday (March 11) and before our workout the next day we found out the nationals were canceled,” Glogouski said. “It was an unfortunate situation but there was nothing we could do. It was out of our control. We didn’t dwell on it since there was nothing we could do.”
Glogouski defeated Corey Secrist of West Liberty (pin in 2:48) and Robert Altland of Davenport (pin in 1:44) before he dropped a 5-3 decision to Hunter Bray of Notre Dame College in the regional semifinals. Glogouski then pinned Chase Wilkinson of UNID in 5:23 and posted a major decision (11-2) over Derek Sharp of UF to place third in the regional.
Bray finished first in the division.
“Blake is a winner and a gamer,” Lake Erie Coach Jeff Breese said in a press release on the school’s website. “He is a guy that, way more often than not, finds a way (to win). This was the best version of Blake I have seen in my time at Lake Erie. Blake has been a huge part of Lake Erie wrestling’s success. He is top 10 all-time in wins and is now a three-time NCAA qualifier.”
This was the Breese’s first season at Lake Erie after spending four seasons at Buena Vista University.
Glogouski finished the season with a 15-5 record. He was named to the All-Great Midwest Athletic Conference first-team.
Glogouski also competed in the NCAA nationals in 2017 and 2018. According to the Lake Erie Storm website, only two other wrestlers in Storm history have made three appearances at the nationals. Matt Vandermeer went in 2012, 2015 and 2016 and Nick Vandermeer in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Glogouski’s freshman campaign was a sign of the good things to come as he won the Super Regional 2 Championship in 2017.
He entered the tournament ranked 11th nationally in the 125-pound weight class. He opened the semifinal match with a pinfall over eighth-ranked Trung Duong of Newberry. In the finals, Glogouski became the third regional champion in school history as he defeated fourth-ranked Ronzell Darling of Wisconsin-Parkside by a 6-4 decision.
“In my other trip to the national, I was one win away from placing. This year my goal was to win,” Glogouski said.
Glogouski was named the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year and was a first-team selection on the All-GLIAC team.
“I had a very good experience at Lake Erie,” Glogouski said.
Glogouski had the added experience of being on the Lake Erie squad with his older brother, Forrest, for three of his four years.
“That was amazing having my brother there,” Blake said about Forrest, who is also a Fairfield graduate. “We got a chance to bond and get better at wrestling.
“Part of the reason for going to Lake Erie was to follow in his footsteps but once I saw the campus and liked what I saw, there was no other place to go.”
The younger Glogouski explained how he developed an interest in wrestling.
“I like the drive the sport gave me. The desire to do anything and to do it well,” he said. “That is something that will carry over into the rest of my life.”
Glogouski wrestled four years at Fairfield for Coach Jim Jones.
“Wrestling for the Falcons gave me the will to push through things. Coach tried to break us in practice and we had to drive through it,” Glogouski said.
He qualified for the IHSAA state meet three of his four seasons and made it to semistate the other one. He placed fifth in the state as a junior and a senior.
Glogouski and Droege, along with Lake Erie teammates Brylan Clouse, Conor Donahue, Jacob Donahue, Honour Kline, Sean O’Hearon, James Penfold, Brandon Tenney and Devin Uzelac, were named to the Scholar All-American team by the National Wrestling Coaches Association.
To be eligible, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.4 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale.
“I am extremely proud of our guys on this list and the culture they are helping to create within our program,” Breese said in a school press release. “Academic success is more than a talking point for our team. These guys take their academic experience seriously and live the right life to get these results.”
Glogouski graduated with a degree in sports management.
“I might possibly want to get into coaching someday,” he said.
Glogouski is currently working construction with his dad.