Kearney, Neb. – Nebraska-Kearney wrestling coach Dalton Jensen announced today that names of two high school seniors and two transfers who’ll take to the mats for the Lopers this winter. The newcomers are Austin Eldredge (McPherson, Kan./Cloud County C.C., Kan.), Wyatt Hayes (Scott City, Kan.), Anthony Mancini (Middletown, Del./Franklin & Marshall College, Pa.) and Alec Segarra (Hill City, Kan.).
In November UNK announced the addition of five Nebraska high school seniors; each won a state title this past March. Eldrege (149 lbs.) spent two years at Cloud County, redshirting as a freshman and earning All-American honors this past winter at 149 pounds thanks to a fourth place finish at the NJCAA National Championships. The McPherson, Kan., native was a four-year letterwinner at MHS, winning a 2017 Class 4A state title (145 lbs.) and setting a new state record for technical falls in a career. “Austin is an all-around great kid and a phenomenal wrestler. He was a junior college All American this past season and I know his best wrestling is still ahead of him,” said Jensen. “I can’t wait to get him in the room and watch him continue to develop his skills with all the great training partners around his size.”
To the West in Scott City, Hayes (174 lbs.) amassed a 147-18 prep record for the SHS Beavers. He was a four-time state qualifier, a three-time placer and a two-time state champion at 170 lbs. (Class 4A and Class 321A). Off the mats, Hayes managed to be a three-time all-state running back in football, rushing for over 4,000 yards in his career, and then was a state track champion at 800 meters and on two different relay teams. “Wyatt is an unbelievable athlete! Wrestling is a very niche sport and you don’t see a ton of successful wrestlers have as much success in other sports like he has,” said Jensen. “To be a state wrestling champion, a state track champion, and an all-state football player is very impressive! I’m looking forward to see how good he can get with wrestling being his only sport now.”
Mancini (184 lbs.) is believed to be UNK’s first-ever Delaware-born student-athlete. He spent the past four years wrestling for the F&M Diplomats, a Division I program located in Lancaster, Pa. The graduate transfer won 40 matches over the 2016 and 2017 seasons, competing mainly against schools in the EIWA (Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association). He was a two-time state finalist and a one-time state champ wrestling for Salesianum High. Going 101-27 in his prep career, Mancini also was a Junior Olympic and Flo Nationals All-American. “Anthony has some great experience wrestling against some of the top competitors in the country over his career. I’m looking forward to him bringing that experience to UNK and helping him reach his personal goal of being a national champion and earning his master’s degree,” said Jensen.
Hailing from nearby Hill City, Segarra (125 lbs.) posted a 106-45 mark for the HHS Ringnecks. A three-time state qualifier ad a two-time state placer, he is the 2019 Kansas Junior freestyle and Greco-Roman state champion. “Alec epitomizes what it means to be a student-athlete. His work in the classroom has earned him the Regents Academic Scholarship and his work on the wrestling mat has brought notice to the coaching staff at UNK,” said Jensen. “He will be surrounded by some great training partners around his size including returning national finalist Josh Portillo. I’m excited for Alec for taking this opportunity to continue to advance his wrestling career.” UNK has won the MIAA title the past six years, had 18 straight top eight finishes at the NCAA Championships and put an unprecedented four into the finals at this year’s national meet.