Lopers Claim MIAA Wrestling Crown|
The 8th-ranked Nebraska-Kearney wrestling team had five champions and four runners up to score 109.0 points and win the 2013 MIAA Championships Sunday in Edmond, Okla.
This was the first MIAA Wrestling Championships in 27 years.
Tournament host and 3rd-ranked Central Oklahoma was right on the Lopers heels, scoring 102.0 points. The Bronchos had five first place finishers with three coming in second. As expected the rest of the field was well behind; Central Missouri (47), Fort Hays State (42), Lindenwood (21) and Truman State (12).
Winning their respective classes were seniors Chase Nelson (165 lbs.) and Raufeon Stots (149 lbs.), juniors Patrick Martinez (174 lbs.) and Mark Fiala (184 lbs.) and true freshman Connor Bolling (125 lbs.).
Finishing second were senior Nick Bauman (285 lbs.), junior Romero Cotton (197 lbs.) and redshirt freshmen Daniel DeShazer (133 lbs.) and Chase White (157 lbs.). Finally Brock Coutu was fourth at 141 lbs.
The defending national champ, Stots (Houston, Texas) beat UCO’s top-ranked Jordan Basks, 6-4, in sudden victory in the 149 lbs. This was the rubber match between the two this season with Stots now holding a 2-1 series lead.
Now 25-4 (17-2 vs. D2 wrestlers) on the year, Stots rallied from a 4-2 deficit thanks to two escapes and a takedown.
At 165 lbs., Nelson (Wichita, Kans.) was dominant, winning his two matches by scores of 12-4 and 10-3. Improving to 22-3 (13-1 vs. D2), he second-seed Chris Watson of UCO in the finals.
A mid-year transfer from Wyoming, Martinez (Hemet, Calif.) won all three matches at 174 pounds to improve to 10-0 as a Loper. He easily advanced to the finals but needed a takedown with 15 seconds left in the match to slip past UCO’s Kelly Henderson.
Fiala (Seward) went 3-0 as well, beating Central Missouri’s Clarence Neely, 3-1, for first place. Neely upset second-seed Tanner Keck of UCO, 6-2, in the semifinals.
To win his 26th match of the year, Fiala scored an early takedown and never trailed Neely.
At the lightest weight, Bolling (125 lbs.) upset Garrett Jones of Fort Hays State, the top-seed, by a 4-1 score to stand highest on the trophy stand.
He used a first period takedown and then built up some riding time in the third period to win for the 22nd time.
DeShazer (Wichita, Kans.) wasn’t as lucky, falling to UCO’s Casy Rowell, 6-4, in the second sudden victory period. This marks DeShazer’s first lost to a D2 wrestler this year (14-1). Ranked third-nationally, Rowell came back from deficits of 2-1 and 4-3 to win via takedown in the extra session.
White (Lincoln H.S.) also fell to a Broncho as veteran Cory Dauphin posted a 12-6 win at 157 lbs. White beat Dauphin, 3-1 in sudden victory, during the regular season.
To reach his point total, the third-ranked Dauphin racked up a takedown and three near fall points in the opening period.
Bauman (Broomfield, Colo.) ran into eighth-ranked Cody Dauphin in the 285 lbs. finals, falling 3-2. Like White’s match, the UCO wrestler scored early, getting a takedown and building up a point of riding time, to post the victory.
Breaking into the lineup this week, Cotton (Hutchinson, Kans.) upset fourth-ranked Tanner Kriss of Hays, 9-8, in the second round before pinning UCM’s Helmut Rentschler at 5:34. However, he couldn’t get past UCO’s Znick Ferrell in the falls, losing 7-6.
Ferrell rallied thanks to a third period escape and a takedown with just seconds remaining.
Also new to the UNK lineup, Coutu (Griswold, Conn.) went 2-2 on the day, upsetting the second-seed in his class, Lindenwood’s Jacob Janes, by a 7-5 score.
UNK is at Fort Hays State on Valentine’s Day to close out the dual season.