Small College Sports

Wrestling Weekend That Was: Grand View continues NAIA dominance with eighth straight title

Former Prairie prep Josh Wenger is 1 of 2 Viking champs; NJCAA Championships; Molinari, Colon contribute overseas

Grand View's Josh Wenger (top) works for a turn against Menlo's Terrill Sidner in the 149-pound NAIA Championships quarterfinal Friday at Jacobson Exhibition Center in Des Moines. Wenger won the bout 16-4 and went on to win his second national title Saturday. (Wyatt Schultz/The Predicament)
Grand View's Josh Wenger (top) works for a turn against Menlo's Terrill Sidner in the 149-pound NAIA Championships quarterfinal Friday at Jacobson Exhibition Center in Des Moines. Wenger won the bout 16-4 and went on to win his second national title Saturday. (Wyatt Schultz/The Predicament)
/

A look at the Wrestling Weekend That Was.

Grand View continues dominance

Grand View waltzed to its eighth straight NAIA Championships team title Saturday at Jacobson Exhibition Center in Des Moines. The Vikings scored 219 points, a whopping 134 more than runner-up Lindsey Wilson and 51 1/2 more than the second and third teams combined.

Grand View crowned two champions and finished with 12 All-Americans in a quirky NAIA rule that allows teams to qualify up to 12 wrestlers. The Vikings had multiple All-Americans at 125, 149 and 157 pounds.

The 149-pound final was a match between Grand View teammates — fifth-seeded Josh Wenger and No. 2 Devin Reynolds.

Wenger, a former Cedar Rapids Prairie state champion and four-time state medalist with a 169-20 career mark, claimed his second title in three seasons, placing fifth a year ago. His first title was at 141 as a freshman in 2017.

Wenger recorded a unique victory over his fellow Viking. Wenger started the second period in the bottom position after a scoreless first. Reynolds was working for nearfall points when Wenger reached back to grab his head and posted a defensive pin in 4:15. Wenger reached the final with a 16-4 major decision over top-seeded Tres Leon of Cumberlands. He recorded three major decisions in his first four bouts.

Wenger, the 2015 Class 3A 138-pound state titlist, ended the season with a 30-8 record, giving him a 77-14 career mark at Grand View. He can become the third Vikings wrestler to win at least three national titles. Former Waverly-Shell Rock prep Eric Thompson won three after starting his career at Iowa State. Current Grand View wrestler Evan Hansen won his third title this season with a chance to become a four-timer next year.

Grand View’s eighth national title ties Adams State and Central State with the most in NAIA history and the streak is second among college programs in any division. Iowa won nine straight NCAA Division I team championships from 1978-96.

NJCAA Championships

Iowa Central and Ellsworth earned top-five finishes at the National Junior College Athletic Association Championships on Saturday at Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs.

Clackamas (Ore.) Community College captured the team title with 176 1/2 points, topping runner-up Northeastern Oklahoma A&M by 24 1/2. The Trojans were third with 125 1/2. Ellsworth was fifth with 89.

Iowa Central received titles from Ethan Karsten (157) and 197-pounder Tyree Sutton. Ellsworth’s Cardeionte Wilson won the 149-pound crown.

Molinari earns bronze

Hawkeye Wrestling Club’s Forrest Molinari earned bronze at 143 pounds in the Dan Kolov International over the weekend at Ruse, Bulgaria.

Molinari, who trains in Iowa City, was one of three third-place finishers and five overall medalists for USA Wrestling’s women’s freestyle team, which finished third behind champion China and Ukraine.

USA wins men's freestyle title

USA Wrestling claimed the team title in the men’s freestyle competition at the Dan Kolov International last weekend at Ruse Bulgaria.

The U.S. Team had seven medalists, including champions Jordan Burroughs (163), Alex Dieringer (174) and Kyle Snyder at 213.

Jordan Oliver earned silver and B.J. Futrell won bronze, giving the U.S. team two medals at 143.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

USA Wrestling received points at nine of 10 weights, including 134.5 where former Northern Iowa All-American, Iowa Central national champ and Clear Lake prep Joe Colon finished fifth.

l Comments: (319) 368-8679; kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.