Kacie Albert – ELSM
Manheim, PA – The NWCA/Cliff Keen National Dual Meet Championship Final, sponsored by Hibiclens and the Marines, ended in celebration for the home team as Minnesota wrestled to an upset and a second consecutive championship title.
After two days of competition the finals were set to pit the home team and No. 4 ranked Minnesota Gophers against the undefeated, No. 1 ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys.
No. 4 Minnesota began their championship run on Friday with a 28-8 victory against the No. 6 ranked Virginia Tech Hokies. The following day, in the semifinals, the Gophers faced the No.2 Iowa Hawkeyes.
In front of a home crowd, the Gophers upset the Hawkeyes 22-15, receiving a major decision victory from Nick Dardanes and a pin from Dylan Ness.
No. 1 Oklahoma State reached the semifinals after defeating No. 8 Illinois 33-3 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals the Cowboys remained undefeated as they took down No.6 ranked Missouri 22-9.
Oklahoma State won seven of the ten matchups against Missouri, including a major decision victory recorded by top ranked Jordan Oliver and a sudden victory win by Christopher Chionuma.
With these victories, the finals brought a rematch of the 2012 National Dual Meet Championship Finals, which Minnesota wrestled to an 18-13 victory.
In the championship round, Minnesota won the first three matchups, including a major decision win earned by Nick Dardanes at 141 pounds. However, Oklahoma State responded to the initial success with three consecutive victories of their own.
“All ten guys came out and wrestled very, very well and that’s what’s important,” said Gopher head assistant coach Brandon Eggum. “The light guys started it off. David Thorn comes out and wrestles a smart, good match and gets us rolling. Chris Dardanes and Morrison from Oklahoma State really showed guts out there going into a couple over times. Chris gets a big win for us and that put us in a really good spot.”
The match was 10-9 in favor of Minnesota after the first six matches. In the 174 pound weight class, top ranked Logan Storley recorded a key defensive fall in overtime against second ranked Chris Perry, giving the Gophers a seven point lead that would provide momentum leading into the final three matches.
Minnesota went on to record victories at both 184 pounds and 197 pounds and completed their upset over Oklahoma State with a pin registered by Tony Nelson at 285 pounds, earning their second consecutive National Dual Meet Championship title.
“I’m excited. Our team just won a national duals championship,” said NCAA Champion Tony Nelson. “To finish it off that way was just awesome. The crowd was just wild, so it was fun.”
The third place match featured No.6 Missouri against No. 2 Iowa, and ended in an upset. Missouri began the meet with an upset victory at 125 pounds but quickly fell to a 10-3 deficit as they forfeited the 133 pound matchup and lost a major decision victory at 141 pounds.
In response to the deficit, Missouri proceeded to win five of the remaining seven weight classes and ended the day with an 18-16 victory against the Hawkeyes and a third place finish at the National Dual Meet Championships.
For fans that were unable to attend the event, Fox College Sports will be airing the event on a two-week delay, whose airtimes are yet to be announced. For more information on the event and future airdates visit nwcaonline.com.
About the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA)
The National Wrestling Coaches Association, established in 1928, is a non-profit organization for the advancement of all levels of the sport of wrestling with primary emphasis on developing coaches who work in academic environments. The membership embraces all people interested in amateur wrestling. The three core competencies of the NWCA are: coaching development, student-athlete welfare, and promotion of wrestling.
About Cliff Keen
Cliff Keen Athletic is a wrestling and officials wear company, dedicated to the advancement of athletics through innovative products and communications. Cliff Keen Athletic exemplifies the rich traditions of sport and the superior quality of athletic wear required for holding up to the rigors of competition.
Hibiclens is an antiseptic antimicrobial skin cleanser possessing bactericidal properties that can be part of an effective defense for preventing the spread of skin infections. Its active ingredient works in a unique way — it kills germs on contact and bonds to the skin to keep killing microorganisms up to 6 hours after washing. Hibiclens® has been proven to kill MRSA (in vitro) and other staph infections.
About the United States Marine Corps
On November 10, 1775, the Marine Corps was established by the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Since then, the Marine Corps, through service on land, in air, and at sea, have acquitted themselves with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term “Marine” has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue. Whether facing our nation’s foes or conducting humanitarian relief and disaster recovery operations at home or abroad, today’s Marine Corps stands ready to continue in the same proud tradition of faithful service to the United States. For more information, visit http://www.Marines.com.