DWU wrestling to send two to nationals after GPAC championships
A pair of Dakota Wesleyan University wrestlers earned spots in the NAIA national wrestling tournament on Saturday.
CRETE, Neb. -- A pair of Dakota Wesleyan University wrestlers earned spots in the NAIA national wrestling tournament on Saturday via their performances at the Great Plains Athletic Conference championships hosted at Doane University.
Aric Williams (149) and Kaleb Bigelow (165) each locked up spots at nationals, as the Tigers finished sixth as a team.
Bigelow, a freshman from Pinedale, Wyoming, was seeded sixth entering the tournament and improved his record to 11-7. He won a pair of matches to reach the championship round, including a 9-1 major decision over Morningside’s Zander Ernst. Concordia’s Issiah Burks won by first-period fall in the championship round over Bigelow.
Williams, a graduate transfer from Pierre via South Dakota State, finished 2-2 on the weekend. After a loss to Morningside’s John Diener by 3-1 decision in the semifinals, Williams won with an 86-second fall in the consolation semifinals over Hastings’ Jake Patterson and then defeated Concordia’s Jeaven Scdoris with a late third-period fall in the third-place match.
Morningside was the team champion with 184 pounds, followed by Doane at 175 points and Concordia (Neb.) at 110 points. DWU scored 64 points for sixth place.
The Tigers’ Lane Miller was fourth at 174 pounds, but will have a chance to earn an at-large berth at nationals next week. Miller finished 3-2 in the tournament but both losses came to Doane’s Michael Scarponi, including a 7-5 sudden-victory loss in the third-place match.
DWU’s Temuujin Natsagdorj (133), Colten Hink (197) and Trevion Sample (285) each finished in sixth place in their brackets.
The NAIA national meet will take place near Wichita, Kansas on March 3-4 at Hartman Arena.