Seventy-six college wrestling programs found out Wednesday the draws for the 2014 NWCA Multi-Divisional National Duals presented by the United States Marine Corps and Hibiclens in honor of Cliff Keen.
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St. Cloud State will put its 52-match win streak on the line at the Hyvee Hall in Des Moines, Iowa January 11-12. The Huskies are looking to win their third straight Division II championships, but they’ll be a slight underdog coming in.
Notre Dame College, ranked No. 1 since the start of the 2013-14 college wrestling season, will be the top seed in the Division II portion of the event. Frank Romano’s Falcons will open up with UW-Parkside in the first round. The Rangers were giant killers last year after they defeated top-seeded Nebraska-Kearney in the opening round. They find themselves in the exact same position this year. The best individual matchup there should come at 197 pounds between All-Americans Brandonn Johnson of Notre Dame College and Davion Willis of Parkside.
Third-ranked Central Oklahoma will be the second seed and they open with Findlay. The Bronchos come in 2-0 after wins over Missouri Baptist and Ouachita Baptist during the first semester. Findlay finished eighth last year and has struggled in the early going this season. The Roughnecks are led by second-ranked 174-pounder Adam Walters.
Fourth-ranked Newberry will be the third seed. Jason Valek’s Wolves open up with Minnesota State-Mankato, which comes in unranked. Coach Jim Makovsky’s Mavericks are always tough. You have to be to survive the tough Minnesota winters. Newberry brings five nationally-ranked wrestlers to the mat, led by third-ranked 125-pounder Jeff Vesta. MSU Mankato is led by 165-pounder Cody Quinn, who is ranked second.
St. Cloud State, as mentioned earlier, puts its 52-match win streak on the line. Winners of the last two NWCA Division II National Duals, the Huskies don’t have the star power they did last season, but they do have four nationally-ranked wrestlers and a handful of freshmen who have stepped into the lineup admirably. Coach Steve Costanzo’s squad will open with Colorado State-Pueblo. The Thunderwolves are making their first appearance at the National Duals since the program was reinstated in 2008. Coach Dax Charles’ team has an interesting dynamic of Colorado natives and former athletes from the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
Seventh-ranked Kutztown will be the fifth seed and open up with the Bulldogs of Truman State. Kutztown boasts the top-ranked heavyweight in Division II, All-American Ziad Haddad, while Truman has All-American Ryan Maus at 149 pounds.
Eighth-ranked Indianapolis will be the sixth seed and the Greyhounds open up with the Tigers of Fort Hays State. UIndy is led by second-ranked Alex Johns at 125 pounds and fourth-ranked Cameryn Brady at 149 pounds. Johns should get a test from sixth-ranked Adam Ludwin of Fort Hays State.
Tenth-ranked Upper Iowa will be the seventh seed and open up with the Storm of Lake Erie College. Coach Heath Grimm’s Peacocks are fresh off a championship at the Chuck Porter Duals hosted by Knox College. Lake Erie, ranked 19th, has two ranked wrestlers including returning Division II runner-up Zak Vargo at 157 pounds. Upper Iowa is led by second-ranked Carl Broghammer at 197 pounds.
In Division III, top-ranked Wartburg will look to win its fourth straight Division III National Duals title. The Knights, winners of the last three NCAA Division III National Championships, are led by coach Eric Keller, who assumed the role of head coach after the retirement last year by Jim Miller. Keller had served as co-head coach previously. The Knights will open up with NYU, with the best match coming at 141 pounds as second-ranked All-American Brandon Jones from NYU will face sixth-ranked Connor Campo of Wartburg.
Augsburg will be the second seed. The second-ranked Auggies will try to return to the finals after having an uncharacteristic finish last season where they failed to place. The Auggies, champions in 2010, will face last year’s runner-up, Elmhurst, in the opening round. Augsburg is led by two-time Division III champion Chad Johnson at heavyweight.
Wabash will be the third seed and will open up with Loras. The Little Giants jumped up to No. 3 in the most recent NWCA Division III Coaches Association Rankings and have five nationally-ranked wrestlers and three of them are brothers. Reece Lefever (157), Conner Lefever (174) and Riley Lefever (184) are powering the Little Giants this season. Loras is led by All-American heavyweight James Buss, who is ranked fifth.
Fourth-seeded UW-Whitewater will open up with Centenary in the opening round. The Warhawks have four nationally-ranked wrestlers including top-ranked 197-pounder Shane Siefert and second-ranked heavyweight Anthony Edgren. The Cyclones are led by All-American Chris Burdge, who is ranked second at 165 pounds.
Wilkes will be the fifth seed and open up with St. John’s. The winner will face either Elmhurst or UW-Whitewater in the quarterfinals. Concordia-Moorhead will face UW-La Crosse in the opening round in what could be a tossup. Concordia-Moorhead is seeded sixth. The winner will face either Wabash or Loras.
Seventh-seeded Coe will open up with Springfield. Best match there should be at 157 pounds where defending Division III champion Devin Biscaha of Springfield will face fifth-ranked Dimitry Boyer of Coe. The winner of the dual will advance to the quarterfinals to face either Augsburg or Centenary.
The 8-9 matchup features 12th-ranked Luther and 19th-ranked Mount Union. Luther has four nationally-ranked wrestlers, led by sixth-ranked 133-pounder Evan Obert.
In the NAIA, Grand View will look to win its third straight NAIA National Duals championship. The Vikings are also the two-time defending NAIA National Champions. In just the program’s sixth season, they have become the team to beat.
The Vikings, ranked No. 1 and seeded first, will open up with Oklahoma City in the first round. The top individual matchup should come at 157 pounds where second-ranked Quinten Haynes of Grand View will face Zach Skates of OCU. Skates is ranked fifth.
Second-ranked Montana State-Northern has surged back to the upper echelon in the NAIA. The Lights are ranked and seeded second and will open up with 14th-ranked Wayland Baptist, the nation’s only varsity college wrestling program in the state of Texas.
Like MSU-Northern, third-ranked and third-seeded Missouri Valley has seen a revival of sorts with their program. The Vikings will open up with 19th-ranked Dickinson State in the first round. Top matchup there could come at 197 pounds where the Vikings could send out either second-ranked Josh Manu or third-ranked Carl Lawrence to face seventh-ranked Jesse Hellinger. The NAIA allows more than one wrestler per weight to be ranked because they allow a team to qualify up to 12 wrestlers for the national tournament.
Returning runners-up Great Falls will be the fourth seed. The Argonauts will face the Panthers of York College of Nebraska in the opening round. Fifth-seeded Campbellsville will face Baker University in the first round with the winner facing the winner of the UGF-York dual.
Lindsey Wilson College will be the No. 6 seed. They’ll open with 13th-ranked Morningside with the winner facing either MSU-Northern or Wayland Baptist.
Cumberland University will come in ranked eighth and draw the No. 7 seed. Their opening round draw will be against 11th-ranked Dakota Wesleyan. Best matchup there in the early going should be at 149 pounds where Cumberland’s Jake Williams, ranked fourth, could meet up with sixth-ranked Kyle Gerlach of DWU.
Indiana Tech will be the No. 8 seed and open up with Midland University in a battle of schools which started up within the last four years. The winner will face either Grand View or Oklahoma City.
The NJCAA field has expanded to 16 teams and all 16 are ranked in the most recent set of NJCAA team rankings.
Top-seeded Clackamas returns to the National Duals and will have an opening round dual with the Beavers of Pratt Community College of Kansas. Clackamas has eight nationally-ranked wrestlers including top-ranked Adrian Salas at 184 pounds and second-ranked C.J. Palmer at 133 pounds.
Coach Jim Zeigler’s Northwest College Trappers will be the second seed and open up with Colby Community College. Northwest has seven nationally-ranked wrestlers including top-ranked 165-pounder Diorian Coleman and second-ranked 157-pounder Jeff McCormick. Colby has three ranked wrestlers, led by third-ranked Jarred Johnson at 174 pounds.
Third-seeded Lincoln College will face Illinois rival Harper College in the opening round. The Lynx have six nationally-ranked wrestlers, led by second-ranked heavyweight DeQuence Goodman. He should see seventh-ranked Lavontae Cobb of Harper in the best individual match of the opening round.
Fourth-seeded Nassau Community College returns to the National Duals for the first time this decade. Nassau will face Iowa Western in the opening round. The Reivers are making their first appearance at the National Duals in just the second year of the program. Leading the crop of four nationally-ranked wrestlers is second-ranked Kyle Wade at 149 pounds. Keep an eye on Iowa Western’s Quint Swanberg, a former Division I wrestler from Arizona State. He was a multiple-time placewinner in high school at the USA Wrestling Cadet & Junior Nationals.
Fifth-seeded Ellsworth will open up with Niagara in the first round with the winner facing either Iowa Western or Nassau. Best match there should come at 165 pounds with fourth-ranked Ritchie Guillaume of Ellsworth and sixth-ranked Chris Nevinger of Niagara. Sixth-seeded Rochester will face perennial power Iowa Central in the opening round with the winner facing the winner of the Lincoln-Harper dual.
Seventh-seeded Muskegon will face Neosho with the winner facing either Northwest or Colby, while Labette, the defending team champions, will be the No. 8 seed and open up with NIACC.
Simon Fraser is back to defend its WCWA National Duals championship. The Clan, a Division II school in Burnaby, British Columbia, ended Oklahoma City’s run of championships last season 27-13. Loaded with international talent and accomplished world medalists, Simon Fraser, seeded second, will have to contend with top-seeded King University.
King, Simon Fraser, Oklahoma City and Wayland Baptist are the tournament’s top four seeds and will have first-round byes. Opening round matches will see fifth-seeded Lindenwood take on the first-year program at Campbellsville with the winner taking on Wayland Baptist. Sixth-seeded Missouri Baptist will open up with Waldorf with the winner taking on OCU. The University of the Cumberlands will face Missouri Valley in a first-round match. Both schools are among the longest-running varsity women’s programs in the country. The winner will face Simon Fraser.
McKendree, another first-year program, will open up with Midland and the winner will face top-seeded King.
The women’s field, like the NJCAA field, has expanded to its largest to date as 12 teams are competing compared to eight previously.
About the NWCA
Founded in 1928, the NWCA strives to promote and provide leadership for the advancement of amateur wrestling, primarily at the scholastic and collegiate levels. The association is headquartered in Manheim Pa. The three core competencies are coaching development, student-wrestler welfare, and promotion/advocacy. The NWCA has 10,000 members and educational programs that serve 230,000 students each year.
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.
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