NJCAA National Tournament Preview

When: February 27-28

Where: Iowa State Fair Grounds, Richard O. Jacobson Exhibition Center, 3000 East Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50317

Schedule:

Tickets:

Follow: Trackwrestling

The ICCAC has a total of 44 wrestlers to represent the conference: 10 Iowa Central wrestlers, 10 Ellsworth wrestlers, 10 North Iowa Area wrestlers, 8 Iowa Western wrestlers and 6 wrestlers from Iowa Lakes.

All rankings based off Intermat’s most recent rankings.

125 LBS Bracket (5 Iowa Wrestlers)

Iowa Qualifiers: No. 1 Freddie Rodriguez – Iowa Lakes, No. 3 Alex Delacruz – Iowa Central, No. 6 DeShun Brown – Ellsworth, No. 7 Paul Mascarenas – NIACC, UR Dillon Cox – Iowa Western

Freddie Rodriguez from Iowa Lakes the ‘Most Valuable Wrestler of the North Central District Wrestling Regional Tournament’ after dominating the competition. Rodriguez looks t on track for a  2nd National Title with a 31-3 record.

Alex Delacruz has proven he is a freshman that can compete going into the national tournament with a 25-8 record and is the No. 3 ranked wrestler by Intermat. Delacruz had two falls at the regional tournament before being pinned by Rodriguez in the third period.

DeShun Brown is 19-8, currently ranked No. 6 for Ellsworth. He will most likely face No. 8 ranked Jake Bellis from Harper in the quarterfinals. This could set up an all Iowa semi-finals on the lower half bracket with Delacruz and Brown.

Paul Mascarenas (NIACC) and Dillon Cox (Iowa Western) will both look to get the tournament started off with unranked wrestlers. Cox looks to have the tougher road but both have favorable shots to make it into the quarter finals.

Finals Prediction: Rodriguez vs Delacruz

133 LBS Bracket (5 Iowa Wrestlers)

Iowa Qualifiers: No. 6 Clay Stine – Iowa Western, No. 9 Shiquan Hall NIACC, No. 11 Jacob Igartua – Ellsworth, UR Jacob Kristensen – Iowa Lakes, UR Ignance Hakizimana – Iowa Central

Clay Stine comes into the championships with the highest ranking of Iowa wrestlers at 133lbs and is fresh off a 2-0 overtime victory over No. 9 Shiquan Hall from NIACC. Stine received a great draw and will have a very great shot at reaching the semi finals. He will take on the winner of Dusan Bogicovic (Harper) vs Zachary Schridde (Pratt) and then most likely the No. 4 ranked Jake Nicholson (Jamestown) in the quarter finals.

Shiquan Hall has a first round matchup with Sammy Rasario (Darton) and then would face Khalil Zawaide (Bergen). After those tough tow matches he could face the No. 1 ranked Mizam Tamardze (Springfield Tech) in the quarterfinals.

Jacob Igartua (Ellsworth) has the No. 7 ranked Austin Hood (Neosho) in the first round. Next up he would face No. 3 Zachary Cooper (Muskegon) so Igartua will have a tough road ahead of him.

Ignance Hakizimana (Iowa Central) has No. 5 ranked Lawrence Otero (Clakamas). Clakamas wrestlers have wrestled very well throughout the season but given this is in Hakizimana’s back yard, this could be a match to keep your eye on first round.

Jacob Kristensen (Iowa Lakes) draws unranked Eduardo Penha (Northwest Wyoming).

Finals Prediction: Tamaradze vs Stine

141 LBS Bracket (4 Iowa Wrestlers)

Iowa Qualifiers: No. 1 Andres Gonzales – Iowa Lakes, No. 2 Saidyoub Kakhramohov – Ellsworth, No. 9 Jason Alfau – Iowa Central, UR Jake Marlin – NIACC

Andres Gonzales (Iowa Lakes) and Jason Alfau (Iowa Central) are both on the top side of the bracket and it whoever comes out of this top side will deserve it. The top side has the No. 1, 3, 4 and 5th ranked wrestlers in it and Jason Alfau has probably the best draw out of the two. He should have no issues reaching the semi finals.

Saidyoub Kakhramohov and Jake Marlin however ended up on the bottom side of the bracket and what looks to shape up for an all Iowa semi final. Jake Marlin is dominating on the mat and may have his confidence after he won the regional with a decisive wins over Gonzales and Alfau. Jake Marlin has a very good opportunity to come away with a NJCAA National Championship this weekend.

Finals Predictions: Rizzolino vs Marlin

149 LBS Bracket (5 Iowa Wrestlers)

Iowa Qualifiers: No 1 Nosomy Pozo NIACC, No. 3 Kevin Cooper – Ellsworth, No 8 Teddy Harvey – Iowa Central, No 12 Trevor Schermer -Iowa Lakes, UR Oscar Ramirez – Iowa Western

These weight class features some heavy hitters from Iowa. Pozo is coming into this tournament with a 27-6 record and has a very favorable position the bracket. He’ll have the winner of No. 9 Christopher Garcia (Clakamas) vs Joel Hood (Neosho). Trevor Schermer (Iowa Lakes) could get a crack at him int he quarter finals but will have to get past Jon Lado and Ezelle Parks first.

Kevin Cooper had a tough bout at regionals against Pozo losing by a 3-1 decision. The No. 3 ranked wrestler will face the winner of No. 10 Shea Conly (Labette) vs Marcus Riggle (Itasca). Cooper has had a great season up to this point carrying a 38-13 record. Iowans will be pulling for him on the lower side of the bracket because he is fun to watch.

Finals Predictions: Pozo vs McCormick

157 LBS Bracket (4 Iowa Wrestlers)

Iowa Qualifiers: No. 1 Richie Lewis – Iowa Central, No 2 Yoanse Mejias NIAAC, No. 4 Leivon Lewis – Ellsworth, UR Lucas Lias – Iowa Western

This is another weight class that Iowa fans can keep their eyes on for a potential rematch from the regional tournament where Lewis defeated Mejias by a 3-2 decision. Richie Lewis will face No. 7 Ryne Cokeley (Neosho) first round and after that will looks towards facing Eleazar Deluca from Clackmas.

Leivon Lewis, Yoanse Mejias and Lucas Lias are all on the bottom side of the bracket and all have first round matchups. Lewis faces No. 11 Ryan Slaugh (Western Wyoming), Mejias will take on Ryan Fulton (Triton) and Lias faces No. 10 DeAndre Johnson (Spartansburg). Mejias has a 27-4 record on the season and will be the favorite to reach the finals.

Finals Prediction: Lewis vs Mejias

165 LBS Bracket (5 Iowa Wrestlers)

Iowa Qualifiers: No 4 Tim Hester – Iowa Western, No 5 Ryan Niven – Iowa Central, No 7 Matthew Rodriguez-Kirkland – Ellsworth, No. 11 Quincy Kalkenbrenner – NIACC, Andrew Tate (Iowa Lakes)

Four wrestlers from Iowa are now ranked and shows the strength of this conference once again. Ryan Niven out wrestled Tim Hester by a close margin at regionals winning by a 5-4 decision. It will be interesting to see how these wrestlers do this weekend and if they can wrestle above their rankings.

Hester, Niven and Rodriguez all receive byes first round. Kalkenbrenner will take on the No. 9 Greg Jaquez from Harper and Andrew Tate will take on No. 6 Bryan Dutton (Northeast Oklahoma).

Tim Hester will have to get through the No. 2 ranked Kyle Bateman (Clakamas) just to reach the quarterfinals so he will have a tough road ahead of him. Hester wrestled extremely tough after his loss to Niven at regionals so Iowa fans will hope he can continue to finish the close matches.

Ryan Niven will mostly likely have a tough opponent in his first match of the tournament against No. 3 Andrew Orr (Southwest Oregon). Niven is 18-9 on the season and his quest for a National Championship is tested early. Looking ahead he could face No. 6 Bryan Dutton (Northeast Oklahoma) whom Andrew Tate (Iowa Lakes) will look to take out first round. Below that lurks No. 1 ranked Dajour Reece from North Idaho. Reece’s road to the semi-finals will look to go untested based off rankings.

Finals Predictions: Bateman vs Orr

174 LBS Bracket (4 Iowa Wrestlers)

Iowa Qualifiers: No 8 Jake Meehan – Iowa Central, No 12 Matt Walker – Iowa Western, UR Jacoby Benjamin – NIACC, UR Sadarriss Patterson – Ellsworth

Jake Meehan will have his hands full against No. 10 Nick Moore in the first round. Meehan had to injury default out of the regional tournament so it will be interesting to see how his health is so look for that big matchup first round.

Matt Walker made some heads turn at regionals with a technical fall and major decision in the finals against Sadariss Patterson 15-6. Matt Walker will face Jacob Hill (Northwest Tech) in a first round matchup. Looking ahead for Walker could be a potential matchup with No. 1 ranked Jacobe Smith (Northeast Oklahoma) in the quarters.

Jacoby Benjamin (NIACC) looks to reach the quarters against the possible No. 2 ranked Dylan Reel from Clackamas. The Clackamas team is ranked number one in the most recent rankings.

Finals Predictions: Reel vs Smith

184 LBS Bracket (5 Iowa Wrestlers)

Iowa Qualifiers: No. 1 Matt Hurford – Ellsworth, No. 3 Tyler Hoffman – Iowa Central, No 7 Jhalen Flanders – Iowa Western, No 12 Wouvel Chevelon – Iowa Lakes, UR Ben Wallace – NIACC

Matt Hurford won his second North Central Regional title in two years and comes into this weekends tournament ranked No. 1. The 31-7 sophomore looks to have a smooth road on the top side of the bracket.

Tyler Hoffman will receive a bye first round but will have a brutal first match against either the No. 2 ranked Brock Warren (Northeast Oklahoma) or No. 6 Cruz Del Angle (North Idaho).

Flanders, Chevelon and Wallace will all be battling in the top side of the bracket to face Matt Hurford.

Finals Predictions: Hurford vs Hoffman

197 LBS Bracket (4 Iowa Wrestlers)

Iowa Qualifiers: No. 1 Patrick Downey – Iowa Central, No. 6 Sharod Wilson – Ellsworth, UR Kyler Mathews – NIACC, UR Luke Nohns – Iowa Western

Patrick Downey has been dominate in this division all year long and carries a 30-2 season record. One of the biggest second round matches will feature Downey as he will more than likely take on the No. 2 ranked wrestler Jonathan Wixom from Northwest Wyoming.

Sharod Wilson will face the winner of No. 3 Ihoghama Odighizuwa (Clackamah) vs No 12 Kenny Cleveland (Northeast Oklahoma). Downey and Wilson will have their hands full second round.

Mathews and Nohns have favorable first round matchups. Mathews will face Tanner VanDalsen (Lincoln) and Nohns will face No. 10 Jamar Henry (Mercyhurst).

This is Downey’s bracket to lose

Finals Prediction: Downey vs Odighizuwa

285 LBS Bracket (4 Iowa Wreslters)

NIowa Qualifiers: No. 6 Lawrence Phillips – NIACC, No 7 Dalonte Holland – Ellsworth, No. 10 Guy Henson – Iowa Lakes, UR Chris Ballard – Iowa Central

Chris Ballard flew through the regional tournament with three falls in less than nine minutes. Chris Ballard is simply not ranked because he has not been on the mat more than ten times this season. Chris will have a first round matchup agains John Wittman from Ridgewater and will possibly face the No. 1 ranked wrestler Ben Tynan (Highline) in the quarters. If Ben is healthy I see no reason why he won’t be in the finals but has to get by a great opponent in Tynan.

Lawrence Phillips (NIACC) draws Jay Sroufe (Muskegon) and if he advances will take on No. 12 Donavan Lozada (Springfield Tech).

Dalonte Holland (Ellsworth) is also on the bottom side of the bracket with Phillips being a possible matchup in the semi finals.

Guy Henson (Iowa Lakes) draws in the bottom side of the bracket as well and will take on No. 11 Myron Hamilton (Lincoln) first round. This will be a great test for Henson and after that he would get No. 2 Taylor Konoely (North Idaho).

After seeing Ballard blow through the regional tournament, I believe he is the favorite to win the 285lb championship.

Finals Prediction: Ballard vs Kornoely