Jones leads wrestlers to fifth in NCC tourney

Adam Zobel

Adam Zobel

Tyler Jones successfully defended his NCC Championship as the SDSU wrestling squad placed fourth at the NCC Wrestling Championships on March 2 and qualified six wrestlers for the National NCAA Division II Championships this weekend in Wheeling, West Virginia.

Jones, the top-ranked wrestler in Division II at 184, received a first-round bye and earned a 16-0, second-round technical fall victory in the semifinals before moving on to the championships and defeating Zach Stalder of Nebraska-Omaha 4-0 in the finals to claim the title at 184.

Second-place winners for the Jacks included Jeremy Roe at 141, Tyler Bryant at 165, and Bryan Cowdin at 174. Jared Barnes claimed third place at 149 and Tim Boldt earned fourth place at 197 to round out the SDSU qualifiers for the National Championships.

Roe, the defending NCC champion, received a bye and won a major decision before falling to Nebraska-Omaha’s top-seeded Roderick Ratcliff in sudden victory.

Bryant won two decisions before losing to Mankato’s top-seeded Jake Emerick in the championship match.

Cowdin earned two decisions before he was defeated in the title match by St. Cloud’s Jon Ducombe.

Barnes won his opening match, but was pushed to the wrestlebacks after a second-round defeat. He then claimed two wins en route to a second-place finish.

Boldt had early troubles in the tournament after a first-round bye as he lost two consecutive matches before winning two matches and claiming a berth in the National Championships with a win the true-fourth match.

Kris Dozark at 133 placed fifth and earned an alternate spot for the tournament; Joe Kenton at 157 placed sixth. The Jacks did not field wrestlers at 125 or heavyweight.

Nebraska-Omaha won the team standings, followed by North Dakota State and Northern Colorado. Minnesota State, Mankato, Augustana, and St. Cloud State finished fifth, sixth, and seventh, respectively.

SDSU Coach Jason Liles was pleased was his squad’s performance as nearly all of his wrestlers met or exceeded their seeds. He also felt fortunate that both of his All-American wrestlers, Jones and Bryant, qualified, considering that five past All-Americans from the NCC did not qualify.

Earning All-American status is simply winning two matches at the National Championships.

“Our wrestlers just need to be ready to wrestle and take one match at a time,” Liles said.