Streaks continue, streaks broken and first-time winners celebrated at annual U.S. Marine Corps NWCA Multi-Division National Dual Meet Championships
Louisville, Kentucky – It’s been over nearly 3,000 days since Grand View University lost a dual meet. It’s been over 4,000 since the school lost a dual to another NAIA school. Grand View continued its college wrestling record win streaks on Friday night at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville at the 2022 NWCA Multi-Division National Dual Meet Championships.
The Vikings improved to 7-0 on the season and continued the school’s dominance at the National Duals, winning its 10th consecutive title. Grand View topped rival Life University 21-10 in the finals for the third straight year.
Coach Nick Mitchell got creative in the early going, bumping up four-time All-American Justin Portillo up to 133 pounds, opening the door for Esco Walker to knock off returning NAIA national champion Brandon Orum in the dual’s opening match. Walker, an NAIA runner-up last year at Cumberland University at 133 pounds, fell behind early, but used a set of nearfall points and a late takedown to set the tone early for the Vikings. Portillo, ranked second at 125 pounds, picked off Hunter Sparks 3-2 at 133 pounds.
Sickness played a role as both Grand View 133-pounders were fighting a bug, causing Mitchell to get creative
“We’ve got to make a change here (at 133) and Portillo clearly fought his butt off,” said Mitchell. “You realistically think going into it, you’re going to split those matches, but Esco coming out and gets that late takedown after getting ridden, then Portillo, that’s what you love about him, he fights.”
That momentum, combined with winning three matches by three points or less were key to the Vikings’ 10th title in a row.
It wasn’t all bad news in the finals for Life University as a whole, though. The Running Eagles’ women’s team came away victorious in the NAIA women’s division, getting a fall from Gabrielle Hamilton at 191 pounds to win the school’s first National Duals title in any division with a 26-19 win over top-seeded Campbellsville.
“That moment for Gabby, this was her first tournament coming back after a torn ACL and she worried she wasn’t good enough,” explained Life head coach Ashley Flavin. “She was worried that she couldn’t do it anymore and the team couldn’t rely on her anymore. For her, it showed her where she’s at. To see Gabby battle back through everything and for her to look at me and say ‘no, I want to do it, I can do it.’ It’s incredible.”
The dual’s most festive match came at 116 pounds where a pair of past NAIA women’s champions met. The match could only be described as bonkers.
Prussin built an 8-0 lead and was about to finish a takedown to earn a 10-point technical superiority, but Campbellsville’s McKayla Campbell threw Prussin to her back for four points and then built a 14-11 lead before Prussin rallied to score eight straight to end with a 19-14 marathon of freestyle wrestling.
For Flavin, the journey to this moment was full-circle.
“Back in 2008, I was the first OW of the women’s tournament and now I’m the first female to win a national title of any kind … is kind of a lot. For me as a person, it’s incredible. From a personal standpoint, from a professional standpoint being able to do it with my husband is amazing. (Life assistant coach) Christian is such an important part of our program and to be able to coach with him is more than I could have ever dreamed and for our team, it’s been slow but fast. We started at the bottom and now we’re here. They’ve put in the time and they’ve put in the work. We were off for 10 days due to Covid, we gave up a forfeit in every dual and (the team) battled back and did it anyway. It’s a testament to them really.”
When the NWCA added Division II and Division III to the mix in 2002, Central Oklahoma won the inaugural Division II dual meet title. They hadn’t won one since – until Friday.
On a day where St. Cloud State set a new NCAA record for consecutive dual meet wins at 77, Central Oklahoma ended the hours-old record with a 19-14 win over the Huskies in the finals, snapping St. Cloud State’s National Duals title run at four in a row as well.
The Bronchos started the dual with a crucial victory at 125 pounds as Paxton Rosen beat St. Cloud State’s Paxton Creese 6-1, but the dual hinged on two Broncho overtime wins. UCO’s Brik Filippo and Hunter Jump picked up takedowns in sudden victory at 149 pounds and 165 pounds that helped give UCO its first title in over 20 years.
“Our guys have been gritty all year,” said Central Oklahoma head coach Todd Steidley. “We had three starters out and two were going to wrestle, but they were throwing up before we went on the mat, so we put backups in and they went out there and did a great job. That’s been the strength of our team all year – our depth has helped us a lot. The moment wasn’t too big for us. Our guys really wrestled hard and yesterday, I was concerned about being too conservative.”
“The things you circle are the Midwest Classic, National Duals, Regioanls and the National Tournament,” said Steidley. “The National Duals keeps you going, we’re proud to be apart of the National Duals. It’s a great event.”
In Division III, UW-La Crosse won its first National Duals crown, topping Wabash 31-9. The Eagles put space between them and the Little Giants early, winning the first five bouts, including Brandon Murphy’s overtime victory over All-American Carlos Champagne at 125 pounds.
“I’m so happy for our guys as we don’t have any superstars on this team just a bunch of guys that believe in each other and believed they can win this tournament from the day they stepped in the arena,” said UW-La Crosse head coach Dave Malecek. “It was a goal was just to get the opportunity to wrestle in Kentucky as we didn’t get the opportunity to wrestle at the NCAA‘s or the NWCA championships last year so we took full advantage of being able to compete for the National Duals title.”
King University’s women’s team returned to the top of the podium for the first time since 2017, knocking off rival McKendree 25-19 to win the NCAA women’s division. Crucial wins by King’s Ashlynn Ortega at 155 and Cheyenne Bowman at 170 pounds pushed King to the title down the stretch. McKendree 114-pounder Felicity Taylor did pick up a victory in one of the dual’s most anticipated matches, beating King freshman Sage Mortimer 10-0.
For King head coach Jason Moorman, it was nice to be back at the top.
“Everyone’s dealing with some adversity with Covid and I’ve felt like we’ve always tried to be the best with everyting we’ve faced,” said Moorman. “We have a special group – great freshmen and they competed so well. Great seniors – great sophomores and juniors in between.”
“We talked all week about this not falling in your lap, you have to go take it,” said Moorman. “It was a simple message right before the finals and I couldn’t be more prouder.”
“It’s been McKendree and Simon Fraser the last couple years, so we have to find our way to stay hungry and improve and we have a great culture and we bring people in that add to that great culture,” said Moorman.
Rochester Community & Technical College captured the championship in the NJCAA division, sweeping four duals in a round-robin format among non-scholarship schools in the division. The Yellowjackets won the school’s first-ever title after previously finishing second in 2020. RCTC was dominant in its 45-0 opening win against Garrett and followed with solid wins over Joliet Junior College (34-15), Niagara (29-20) and Jamestown 29-15.
The 2022 U.S. MARINE CORPS/NWCA Multi-Division National Dual Meet Championships was presented by ARMS Software, Capitol Construction & Defense Soap and was hosted by NUWAY.
CENTRAL OKLAHOMA 19, ST. CLOUD STATE 14
125 – Paxton Rosen (Central Oklahoma) over Paxton Creese (St. Cloud State) Dec 6-1
133 – Tanner Cole (Central Oklahoma) over Daniel Valeria (St. Cloud State) Dec 6-0
141 – Joey Bianchini (St. Cloud State) over Peter Rolle (Central Oklahoma) TF 18-3
149 – Brik Filippo (Central Oklahoma) over Jake Barzowski (St. Cloud State) SV-1 3-1
157 – Ty Lucas (Central Oklahoma) over Anthony Herrera (St. Cloud State) Dec 9-8
165 – Hunter Jump (Central Oklahoma) over Devin Donovan (St. Cloud State) SV-1 3-1
174 – Dominic Murphy (St. Cloud State) over Anthony Des Vigne (Central Oklahoma) TB-1 2-1
184 – Heath Gray (Central Oklahoma) over Cade Linn (St. Cloud State) Maj 13-5
197 – Noah Ryan (St. Cloud State) over Alex Kauffman (Central Oklahoma) Dec 5-1
285 – Kameron Teacher (St. Cloud State) over Braden Morgan (Central Oklahoma) Dec 6-2
UW-LA CROSSE 31, WABASH 9
125 – Brandon Murphy (UW-La Crosse) over Carlos Champagne (Wabash) SV-1 5-3
133 – Sawyer Sarbacker (UW-La Crosse) over Blake McGee (Wabash) Dec 3-0
141 – Tyler Shackle (UW-La Crosse) over Andrew Sinkovics (Wabash) Fall 1:21
149 – Jake Mandt (UW-La Crosse) over TJ Driessens (Wabash) SV-1 8-6
157 – Nolan Hertel (UW-La Crosse) over Tyson Nisley (Wabash) Maj 12-3
165 – Kyle Hatch (Wabash) over Seth Brossard (UW-La Crosse) Dec 9-2
174 – Luke Clark (UW-La Crosse) over Raymond Arebalo (Wabash) Dec 5-0
184 – Kayln Jahn (UW-La Crosse) over Charles Baczek (Wabash) Fall 1:42
197 – Jack Heldt (Wabash) over Isaac Lahr (UW-La Crosse) Fall 3:59
285 – Ben Kawczynski (UW-La Crosse) over Isaiah McWilliams (Wabash) Dec 7-1
GRAND VIEW 21, LIFE 10
125 – Esco Walker (Grand View) over Brandon Orum (Life) Dec 6-4
133 – Justin Portillo (Grand View) over Hunter Sparks (Life) Dec 3-2
141 – Shea Ruffridge (Grand View) over Jacob Ruiz (Life) Dec 3-1
149 – Denver Stonecheck (Life) over Trevor Anderson (Grand View) Dec 5-2
157 – Giovanni Bonilla (Grand View) over Jack Bass (Life) Dec 5-2
165 – Sid Ohl (Life) over Marty Margolis (Grand View) Maj 10-2
174 – Casey Randles (Grand View) over Asher Eichert (Life) Dec 8-2
184 – Ben Lee (Grand View) over Myles Starke (Life) Dec 2-1
197 – Zane Lanham (Life) over Owen Braungardt (Grand View) Dec 6-5
285 – Greg Hagan (Grand View) over JJ Perez (Life) Dec 5-3
KING 25, MCKENDREE 19
101 – Jaclyn McNichols (King) over Lizette Rodriguez (McKendree) Dec 3-3
109 – Samara Chavez (King) over Pauline Granados (McKendree) Fall 2:46
116 – Felicity Taylor (McKendree) over Sage Mortimer (King) TF 10-0
123 – Cheyenne Sisenstein (King) over Caitlyn Thorne (McKendree) Fall 2:02
130 – Montana Delawder (King) over Cameron Guerin (McKendree) Dec 9-6
136 – Ana Luciano (King) over Skye Realin (McKendree) Dec 7-4
143 – Alara Boyd (McKendree) over London Houston (King) Fall 1:34
155 – Ashlynn Ortega (King) over Kayla Marano (McKendree) Dec 5-1
170 – Cheyenne Bowman (King) over Joye Levendusky (McKendree) Dec 5-2
191 – Sydnee Kimber (McKendree) over Nia Crosdale (King) Fall 0:27
LIFE 25, CAMPBELLSVILLE 19
101 – Mia Diaz (Campbellsville) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf
109 – Kory Phillips (Life) over Kelsey Bilz (Campbellsville) Dec 9-8
116 – Peyton Prussin (Life) over McKayla Campbell (Campbellsville) Dec 19-14
123 – Salyna Shotwell (Life) over Jacqueline Ghent (Campbellsville) Fall 1:41
130 – Katlyn Pizzo (Campbellsville) over Briana Kellin (Life) Inj 0:41
136 – Olivia Mottley (Life) over Randi Robison (Campbellsville) Dec 4-3
143 – Emma Walker (Campbellsville) over Angie Prado (Life) Fall 1:49
155 – Destinee Rivera (Life) over Brelane Huber (Campbellsville) Dec 7-1
170 – Jordan Nelson (Life) over Leilani Martinez (Campbellsville) Dec 9-0
191 – Gabrielle Hamilton (Life) over Liliana Vergara (Campbellsville) Fall 5:35
(dual between first and second-place finishing teams)
ROCHESTER 29, NIAGARA 20
125 – Tony Kuhn (Niagara) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf
133 – Cael Bartels (Rochester) over Cole French (Niagara) Dec 12-8
141 – Parker Dobrocky (Rochester) over Zachary Ash (Niagara) TF 20-5
149 – Nikalis Voelker (Niagara) over Owen Pharo (Rochester) Dec 4-2
157 – Frankie Gissendanner (Niagara) over William VonRuden (Rochester) TF 18-3
165 – Zach Wells (Rochester) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf
174 – walker ingham (Rochester) over Cortez Henderson (Niagara) Fall 0:50
184 – Justin McDougald (Niagara) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf
197 – Colton Krell (Rochester) over Warren Mcdougald (Niagara) Dec 5-2
285 – Armani Tucker (Rochester) over Maurice Jackson (Niagara) Fall 1:10