– March 30, 2017Posted in: Stories
Photo courtesy of Henry Ford College
Henry Ford College wrester Austin Koehler (left) celebrates one of his victories during the 2017 wrestling season.
DEARBORN – Austin Koehler, a member of the Henry Ford College Wrestling Club, earned All-American honors with an eighth place finish in the 125-pound weight class at the National Collegiate Wrestling Association National Championships in Allen, Texas, March 11.
A total of 98 teams from throughout the United States competed at the NCWA National Championships, HFC wrestling Coach Grant MacKenzie said.
Koehler, a three-time NCWA national qualifier, lost 6-7 in the quarterfinals to Byron Smith, the No. 1 seed from Middle Tennessee State University.
“It was a very close, very hard-fought battle,” MacKenzie said. “Austin had plenty of fire and plenty of drive. I’m extremely proud of his performance at the National Championships and how he comported himself on and off the mat. He represented HFC quite well.”
“It was one battle to remember,” Koehler said. “I’d like to thank all my friends, family and teammates for supporting me and pushing me forward. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now, especially without my coach’s help.
“It was a great, great experience to be with all these guys. It was extremely tough competition. If you go in there ready for battle, you’ll definitely come out happy.”
Koehler, of Belleville, has been a member of the HFC Wrestling Club since 2014. Prior to attending the National Championships, Koehler took second place in his weight class at the NCWA Great Lakes Conference earlier this month, where 12 teams from Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Indiana competed.
A 2014 alumnus of Belleville High School where he was on the wrestling team all four years and served as captain for three of those four years, Koehler is in HFC’s Heating Ventilation Air-Conditioning program. He is slated to graduate with an associate’s degree in 2018.