Spokane, Wash. – Northland Community & Technical College freshman Jordan Engen is a Pioneer in more ways than one. Not only is he a member of the first Pioneer wrestling team to take the mat in more than 40 years but on Friday, Feb. 28 and Saturday, March 1, he became the first All-American in program history while competing at the NCAA National Championships in Spokane, Wash.
Engen accomplished the feat when he pinned Casey Powell of Northeast Oklahoma A&M in Friday night’s round of 12 to secure a spot in the top eight at 165 pounds. He concluded the tournament Saturday with a loss by fall to eventual third place finisher Kyle Bateman of Clackamas in the consolation quarterfinal round, and defeat Ryan Niven of Iowa Central 11-8 to conclude the tournament with a seventh place finish.
“Jordan wrestled well throughout the tournament,” said Northland Head Coach Scott DCamp. “He held a lead at some point in both of his losses, and with some better breaks, I feel he could have contended for a title.”
Contending for a national title is what brought Engen back to wrestling. His post-high school career began with a redshirt season at North Dakota State University in 2009-10 but had been out of the sport for three seasons before opting to join the Northland squad this year.
“It took guts for Jordan to get back into the sport after a three-year hiatus,” DCamp said. “Not only could he still compete, but he has been able to use his Division I experience to help his teammates.”
Also competing for the Pioneers was freshman Craig Williams who went 2-2 while competing at 184 pounds.
“Craig was competitive in every match at nationals,” DCamp said. “He had a great first season of college wrestling and with another year of experience, I believe he will have a legitimate shot at being a high-placing All-American.”
• Jordan Engen, 4-2, placed seventh at 165 – (Round 1) bye; (Round 2) def. by Tyler McLean, North Idaho, 7-4; (Consolation Round 2) def. Sha-Keno Jenkins, North Iowa, 5-2; (Consolation Round 3) def. Matt Carroll, Darton, fall 0:57; (Consolation Round 4) def. Casey Powell, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, fall 4:31; (Consolation Round 5) def. by Kyle Bateman, Clackamas, fall 4:22; (Seventh Place Match) def. Ryan Niven, Iowa Central, 11-8.
• Craig Williams, 2-2 did not place at 184 – (Round 1) def. Mitchell Baird, Pratt, fall 1:22; (Round 2) def. by Caleb Cotter, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, fall 1:00; (Consolation Round 2) def. Rakim Deans, Colby, fall 5:49; (Consolation Round 3) def. by Kurtis Hewitt, Middlesex, fall 2:00.