St. Cloud State and Concordia-Moorhead among semifinalists
The semifinals have been set for the NWCA Multi-Divisional National Duals presented by Hibiclens and the United States Marine Corps in honor of Cliff Keen at the Allen County War Memorial in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The event is held in conjunction with other events run by the United Wrestling Group.
Defending champion Notre Dame College rolled into the semifinals with victories over Central Missouri and Central Oklahoma. They’ll face unseeded Upper Iowa, which knocked off No. 4 Mercyhurst 33-8 then knocked off No. 5 McKendree 18-15.
Upper Iowa traded the first four matches with Mercyhurst before sweeping the final six bouts, including falls from Dalton Westerlund at 174 and Blake Sorensen at 184 pounds. Against McKendree, Upper Iowa jumped out to a 6-0 lead before McKendree won the next two matches to tie the dual. Upper Iowa swept the next four weights with key decisions at 157, 165, 174 and 184 to build an 18-6 lead with two weights to go. When McKendree’s Julian Smith, a returning Division II finalist, was held to a decision at 197 pounds, the upset was sealed.
“It was a nice opportunity for us to make a statement and a 33-8 victory is a nice statement for the Upper Iowa guys,” said Upper Iowa coach Heath Grimm. “We attacked well, defended well, wrestled well on top and finished matches stong. A lot of good things can happen when you do that.”
The top-seeded Falcons beat Central Missouri 33-15 and picked up a fall from two-time NCAA Division II champion Joey Davis at 174 pounds and from 197-pounder Garrett Linton. The dual itself featured four returning NCAA Division II champions – Davis and teammates Jonatan Rivera, Garrett Lineberger and Central Missouri’s Frank Cagnina. Rivera beat Central Missouri’s Evan Young at 157, Cagnina pinned James Jenkins at 149 and Lineberger tech falled Michael Boyd at 184.
Notre Dame College bested Central Oklahoma 29-7 in the quarterfinals. Davis picked up a 15-7 major decision over Dylan Harmon at 174 pounds. Davis remained undefeated for his college career.
Upsets also hit the bottom half of the bracket as sixth-seeded St. Cloud State upended third-seeded Ouachita Baptist 22-17. St. Cloud trailed 17-16 heading into heavyweight but returning All-American Austin Goergen pinned Blake Andrews at2:34 to push the Huskies into the semifinals against second-seeded Maryville. The Saints got past pesky Lake Erie 24-18 in the opening round and then topped local rival Lindenwood 22-9. Lindenwood won the first three bouts to jump out to a 9-0 lead before Maryville swept the last seven bouts, including a notable victory by Maryville’s John Hagerty over Terrell Wilborn in sudden victory.
“That was a good win for us,” said St. Cloud State coach Steve Costanzo. “They beat us five days ago down at the Central Missouri Duals. It went 5-5 and they’re a well-coached team and fortunately we had some guys step up there at 149, 157 and 165. V.J. Guilio, wrestling in his first match in a Husky uniform came in and gave Austin Goergen a chance to win it for us at heavyweight. It was a good team effort and we’re hopefully looking for more things to come tomorrow.”
Top-seeded Wisconsin-Whitewater picked up two victories to reach the semifinals in the Division III portion of the National Duals. The Warhawks, ranked No. 1 in Division III, opened with a 32-9 win over Loras and then topped perennial power Augsburg 24-12. UW-Whitewater will face last year’s National Duals runners-up, Concordia-Moorhead in the semifinals.
The Cobbers opened with a 28-9 win over Johnson & Wales and then edged fifth-seeded Mount Union 18-17 as Concordia heavyweight Justice Davis topped Jacob Alarie 1-0 scoring the decisive win.
Wartburg, which has won the last four Division III National Duals titles, moved into the semifinals as the second seed. The Knights topped Olivet and Coe by identical 31-6 scores. They’ll face third-seeded Wabash, which edged Wisconsin-La Crosse 21-17 in the quarterfinals. Wabash is powered by a trio of Lefever brothers – Reece, Conner and Riley. All three scored major decisions at 157, 174 and 184 respectively. Wartburg had falls from Kenny Martin and Drew Wagenhoffer scored falls.
Grand View looked strong on its way to the semifinals with two big wins. The Vikings are looking for a fourth straight NAIA title and opened with a 53-0 win over Hannibal-LaGrange and then a 31-6 win over Lindsey Wilson.
The dual featured a number of past national champions and all won their matches. At 125 pounds, Grand View’s Ryak Finch, the returning national champion at 125 pounds, pinned Chad Lampe at 1:55. Returning 141-pound national champion and Midlands placewinner Brandon Wright beat Daniel Leonard 9-2, while 2013 champion Gustavo Martinez of Grand View beat Isaac Thomas 5-2. Lindsey Wilson’s Joey Cozart, the returning champion at 157, beat Grant Henderson 3-1. Grand View continued the roll at 165 pounds where 2013 national champion Jimmie Schuessler pinned Court Mase at 2:29. Lindsey Wilson’s Michael Pixley, one of the top recruits in the nation last year, topped Christian Mays 3-2 at 184 pounds.
Grand View will face No. 4 Great Falls in the semis. Great Falls topped Indiana Tech 26-19, and the big match came at 133 pounds where All-American Michael Ruiz of Great Falls pinned top-ranked Mitch Pawlak of Indiana Tech in 48 seconds.
“We’ve been by that team twice this year and that was a bit of a moral victory,” said Great Falls coach Caleb Schaeffer. “We dropped our 133-pounder down and (Ruiz) pinned the No. 1 kid in the country and that kind of solidified the dual for us.”
On the bottom half of the bracket, second-seeded Southern Oregon opened up with a 40-9 victory over Cumberland University and then the Raiders dispatched with Embry-Riddle 32-9 to advance to the semifinals to wrestle third-seeded Campbellsville.
Campbellsville beat Bethany 26-18 in the opening round and then moved past Midland 30-19 in the quarterfinals. Campbellsville trailed 19-18 with two weights to go but falls by Nate Knauf at 197 pounds and Terrell Moore at heavyweight powered the Tigers into the semifinals.
Three of the top four seeds advanced to the semifinals as top-seeded Clackamas, second-seeded Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and third-seeded Iowa Central all advanced. The lone upset came as No. 5 Ellsworth upended No. 4 Muskegon 28-13. Clackamas topped Rochester 30-18 and Iowa Lakes 31-16.
Iowa Central blasted Spartanburg Methodist 46-6 in the opening round and moved into the semis with a 31-10 win over Neosho. Second-seeded NEO, the returning NJCAA national champions, had a first-round bye and then beat Harper 27-18.
In the women’s division, which wrestles freestyle, the top four seeds all cruised to the semifinals. Returning National Duals champion King bested Missouri Baptist 45-1 in the Tornado’s only match of the day. King will face fourth-seeded McKendree, which beat Midland 39-9 and the University of the Cumberlands 33-10.
Multiple-time champion Oklahoma City came in as the No. 2 seed and the Stars beat Wayland Baptist 33-11 to advance to the semifinals. OCU will face Campbellsville, a 30-17 winner over Lindenwood.
The semifinals for all five divisions will start at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 10. The finals are slated for 4:30 p.m.
Results and live streaming information can be found at http://www.trackwrestling.