Nick Mitchell’s selected squad qualifies all 12 to nationals for the second year in a row.
By Alex Peitz
Regional team title finishing with 218 points last Saturday on Grand Views campus. Each Viking finished in the top four to seal there ticket to the 2015 National Tournament in Topeka, Kansas on March 6th and 7th. The Viking’s individual titles coming from Ryak Finch (125) Brandon Wright (141), Dallas Houchins (157), Jimmie Schuessler (165), Thomas Moman (174), and Dean Broghammer (HWT). The 2nd Ranked Southern Oregon Raiders outlasted 3rd ranked Great Falls by 4.5 points in the Western Regional tournament and will send 11 to the finals while Great Falls will bring all 12 wrestlers. Concordia (Neb) and Lindsey Wilson (Ky) will both bring 10. The Southern Oregon Raiders are the only team that seems to be a formable opponent for the Vikings in the NAIA. In December Grand View beat Southern Oregon in the National Duals final by a score of 23-13. Here is a look at the squad that looks to bring back to Des Moines its fourth national title in a row.
125– Top ranked senior and returning national champ RyakFinch (23-0) made easy work at last year’s tournament and has yet to lose in a Grand View singlet. With four matches left in his career he probably wants to go out looking crisp. He isn’t afraid to go upper body and he pins people awfully fast. Great Falls 3rdranked Luke Schlosser is 30-6 and coming of a regional finals victory over 2nd ranked Troy Lakin of Menlo.
133-. Jacob Colon, a JUCO All-American from Iowa Central has split matches with returning national champ and 2nd ranked Bryce Shoemaker of Baker. It’s possible that the rubber match could be the national finals. Colon is currently ranked 5th at 33 and boasts a 29-8 record. Top ranked Michael Ruiz of Great Falls (34-4) is having a good year and has been pretty dominant lately: pinning his way through the Western regionals.
141- Brandon Wright is the returning national champ and boasts a 31-4 record. The senior won’t have to worry about seeing a teammate in the finals like he did last year. He has made easy work of every NAIA opponent since donning the GV singlet and isn’t afraid to get busy and take people down again and again. Great Falls Kyle Wilson, ranked 2nd and is 29-5 and Concordia’s 3rd ranked Andrew Schulte (8-0) won their regional brackets.
149- 2 time finalist and top ranked Gustavo Martinez (36-4) lost in the regional finals to Missouri Valleys 2nd ranked Jake Ekster in the first matchup between to two this year. Ekster also beat GV’s other 49 pounder, 8th ranked Elijah Sullivan (35-5) in the semifinals at regionals for the second time this year. It could very well be an all GV semis on one side and the winner gettinga rematch with Ekster in the finals.
157- This is the other weight classes in which GV will send two wresters that could possibly meet up in the semis. Top rankedand regional champ Dallas Houchins is wrestling really well (21-1) after missing half of the year with a knee injury and looks to make it back to the finals like he did a year ago. RS Freshman and 7th ranked Grant Henderson could very well make a name for himself at this tournament and has proven to be one of the best in the weight class when he is on top. Also, returning champ Joey Cozart (28-5) from Lindsey Wilson beat Houchinsfor the crown last year and is looking to make his 3rd straight trip to the finals. It would be his 3rd finals match against a GV wrestler if either Houchins or Henderson makes it.
165- The top two wrestlers at this weight class look to finish out their impressive careers on top of the podium. Top ranked Ethan Hinebauch (49-5, 2nd @165 a year ago) of Montana State Northern is pretty good at pinning people while GV’s 2nd ranked Jimmie Schuessler (32-4, 1st @165 two years ago) has a really good gas tank and is solid in all positions. Menlo’s Eric Lopez is hasn’t wrestle very much this year but knows what it’s like to wrestle in the finals as well.
174- Grand View’s Thomas Moman (32-2) is ranked 2nd. The RS Senior took home 5th place at this weight class in 2013. If thewrestler wants to get a national title he will have to go through top ranked Brock Gutches of Southern Oregon. The senior is 30-2 and looking for his fourth national title. If he is to do so he would only be the seventh person in NAIA history to do so. Great Falls Shawn Lau is ranked 3rd and is currently 21-4 on the year.
184- Another senior all American looking to finish it out with a championship performance is 2nd ranked Christian Mays (27-6), who took 5th at this weight class last year. Mays lost in the finals to 9th ranked Derek Sivertsen (39-11) 5-3. Lindsey Wilson’s top ranked Michael Pixley is currently undefeated in 22 matches and 4th ranked Jose Cruz of Embry-Riddle is 31-2. Both wrestlers won their regional tournaments.
197- Grand View will not be sending any wrestlers at this weight class. Southern Oregon’s Charles Johnson (22-6) and Dickenson States Hudson Buck (24-1) are both ranked #1. Buck won the Northern regionals by beating 3rd ranked Kolton Kerstonof Midland (7-1) while Johnson dropped a 9-6 decision to 5thranked Garret Devers of Montana State Northern (46-10).
285- Top ranked Toby Cheff (17-0) of Montana State Northern defeated Menlo’s returning all american and 2nd ranked Scott Brasil 5-1 in the West Regional finals. Another returning all American is 3rd ranked Said Lotulelei who is 18-6 on the year. Grand Views RS Freshman Dean Broghammer is currently ranked 4th and 51-6 on the year and the winner of the Central Regionals, while junior Jake Laden is 5th with a mark of 30-5 on the year.