NJCAA Wrestling Championship to Feature Five Ranked Iowa Programs

 

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The NJCAA Wrestling National Championship will take place this weekend at the Mid-America Center, located in Council Bluffs. The event will be hosted by Iowa Western Community College. The state of Iowa will be represented by five junior college programs: Iowa Central, Iowa Lakes, Ellsworth, Iowa Western, and North Iowa Area.

Looking at the team race, Iowa Central enters the tournament as favorite, battling closely with Clackamas. The Tritons of Iowa Central are ranked first, followed by Ellsworth ranked fourth, Iowa Lakes ranked sixth, NIACC ranked 13th, and Iowa Western ranked 20th.

Individual weight class predictions are made based off current Intermat rankings and bracket pairings:

125: Three ranked athletes will represent the state of Iowa at the NJCAA National Championship. Todd Small (Iowa Central) is ranked fifth, opening the tournament with a first-round bye. Justin Folley (Ellsworth) is ranked sixth and will open the tournament facing Fabian Guerrero (Northwest Kansas). With a win, Folley will face third-ranked of Ian Mullen (Harper). Brennan Doebel (NIACC) enters the tournament ranked seventh. He will face Andrew Nissen (Itasca).  Emmanuel Browne (Iowa Western) will open the tournament facing Cole Verner (Western Wyoming). Brian Maas (Iowa Lakes) will face Benney Gomez (Muskegon).

133: Top-ranked Zak Hensley (Iowa Central) will kick off the 133 lb. weight class. Hensley will have a first round bye. D’Andre Brumfield (Iowa Western) is ranked 8th and will open the tournament facing Christophe Rosario (Bergen Community). With a win, Brumfield will face Hensley. Jamarius Jackson (NIACC) will face Tyus White of Rochester in the opening matches. Third-ranked George Farmah (Iowa Lakes) will also have an opening round bye. Blake Walker (Ellsworth) is currently ranked fifth and will open the tournament facing Bryson Beard (North Idaho).

141: Two ranked athletes will represent the state of Iowa in this weight. Chase Clasen (Iowa Western) will face Andrew Ramirez (Highline). Sixth-ranked, Austin Anderly (NIACC) enters the tournament with a first round bye. With a win, Anderly could face #2 Curtis Burnett (Northeast Oklahoma). On the bottom half of the bracket, Tra Jones (Ellsworth) will face Nick Casella (Nassau). Fourth-ranked DeAndre Reed (Iowa Central) will open competition with a bye, potentially facing athletes from either Labette or Colby.

149: Second-ranked Brandon Murray (Iowa Central) will begin the tournament with a first-round bye. Josh Adams (Ellsworth) will face Justin Polkowske (Northwest) in his first match. Fourth-ranked Anthony Maia (Iowa Lakes) will wrestle Jaycob Bechtol (Muskegon). Chase Lemons (Iowa Western) will round out the bracket for the state of Iowa, taking on Anthony Hinkle (Otero).

157: Top-ranked Virginia Tech transfer, Dayton Racer (Iowa Central) will lead the charge, opening the tournament facing Jake Vershoor (Harper). Colby Winnett (NIACC) will face #3 Josh Leal (Clackamas). Brady Brott (Iowa Lakes) opens action with Antonio LaRocca (Nassau). On the bottom half of the bracket, Tell Ward (Iowa Western) will face #5 Alex Nelson (Northeast Oklahoma). Eighth-ranked Steven Lawrence (Ellsworth) is the final Iowan, facing Cole Hornbrook (Southwestern Oregon).

165: This weight will feature no ranked wrestlers from Iowa. Tucker Black (NIACC) will open the tournament with a bye, potentially facing athletes from either Nassau or Barton. Brady Vogel (Iowa Central) will wrestle Shaylan Loomis (Lincoln). Andrew Tate (Iowa Lakes) will likely face Wyatt Jordan (Northeast Oklahoma) following a first-round bye.

174: Two ranked wrestlers will represent Iowa schools. Ryan Faught (NIACC) will wrestle #6 Tyree Overton (Lincoln). Fifth-ranked Antrez Clagon (Iowa Central) will open the tournament with a bye. Timothy Barr (Iowa Western) will face Adrian Lyons-Lopez (Southwestern Oregon). Third-ranked Jordan Gundrum (Ellsworth) will wrestle Anton Krocko (Harper).

184: Top-ranked Iowa native Danny Bush (Iowa Central) will highlight the 184 lb. bracket. Bush will open with a bye before facing an athlete from either Harper or Northeast Oklahoma. Seventh-ranked Isaiah Cox (Iowa Lakes) will face Eric Firorino (Bergen). Sixth-ranked) Preston Lauterbach (Iowa Western) will wrestle Schey-Xyong McMoore (Wentworth Military). Anthony Collins (Ellsworth) will finish the top half of the bracket, facing Anthony Lodermeier (Otero). Jaylen Lee (NIACC) will wrestle Deven Simpson (Mercyhurst North East).

197: #4 Timothy Young (Ellsworth) will face #8 Nick Maxximov (Clackamas). Kendrick Jones (Iowa Central) will face Wyatt Westfall (Southwestern Oregon). #2 Christian Dulaney will open the tournament with a bye, facing Mason Hawkins of Rochester in the second round. Seth Ham (Iowa Western) will wrestle Jeremy Merryweather (North Idaho).

HWT: #1 Thomas Petersen (Iowa Central) leads off the 285 lb. weight. Petersen will open the tournament with a bye. Fifth-ranked Marlo Pena (NIACC) will wrestle Wade French (Western Wyoming). Sixth-ranked Gary Whitaker (Ellsworth) will face Timothy Smith (Southwestern Oregon). Cayelon Barton (Iowa Lakes) will wrestle Brix Brickey (Barton). Stephen Boone (Iowa Western) will wrestle Miguel Morales (Highline).

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