FULTON -- The Westminster College Blue Jays men's wrestling team signed three mid-Missouri wrestlers Friday -- Austen Wetzel (Battle), Cole Harrell (Hickman) and Aidyn Merchant (Macks Creek).
Wetzel was born and raised in Columbia and is a three-time state qualifier and one-time state placer (third place in 2023). He took fifth at Brian Keck Preseason Nationals in October 2022.
Westminster men's wrestling coach Tony Eierman is Wetzel's stepfather, and he and Michael Eierman have trained Wetzel since he was 8.
Michael Eierman has trained J'den Cox, Jaydin Eierman, Brock Mauller, Jarrett Jacques and Ben Askren -- all local Columbians and NCAA Division I wrestlers.
Wetzel was on the A/B honor every semester of high school, and his goal for college is to earn a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and be a four-time All-American.
Harrell is a four-time state qualifier/three-time placer (took fourth, fifth and sixth). He has won the Hickman Tournament two times; Harrell traveled to Wisconsin as a junior and was the Badger state champion.
During Harrell's senior year, Hickman traveled to Kansas, and he was the Bobcat Classic champion.
"Cole is looking forward to being a part of Westminster's wrestling team and reuniting with Mike and Toni Eierman, which coached him during youth wrestling," Carol Harrell, Cole's mother, stated in a release.
Merchant was born in Marshall and raised in Macks Creek.
Macks Creek High School does not have a wrestling program, so Aidyn has had to pursue his wrestling career through other means. He has traveled around the United States, continuing to compete against some of the best in the country.
Merchant is a three-time All-American for wrestling, finishing fourth and sixth at Tulsa nationals. He was part of the 17U AAU national team and traveled to Normandy, France the summer of 2022.
When he has 8 years old, Merchant started training with the Eirman brothers.
Merchant will join the Blue Jays after he completes his senior year.