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Dakota Wesleyan's Darien Malone, Marcus Urban qualify for NAIA wrestling championships

Darien Malone took second at 133 pounds and Marcus Urban finished fourth at 165 Saturday and both will compete in the NAIA National Championships on March 5 in Park City, Kansas.

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FREMONT, Neb. -- Dakota Wesleyan University placed ninth at the Great Plains Athletic Conference wrestling tournament Saturday, but placed three wrestlers and two qualified for nationals.

Darien Malone took second at 133 pounds and Marcus Urban finished fourth at 165 Saturday and both will compete in the NAIA National Championships on March 5 in Park City, Kansas.

Malone won his first three matches of the day before being pinned by Morningside’s Taylor Vasquez in 2 minutes, 16 seconds in the finals.

Urban, a Plankinton native, won his first two matches before suffering a fall to Briar Cliff’s Chris Paulsen in 6 minutes, 25 seconds. Urban rallied to pin Morningside’s Ethan Hatcher in the consolation semifinals, but fell to Concordia’s Gabriel Crawford in a 9-8 decision in the third-place match.

Cole Halouska also placed fourth at 174, rebounding from a tournament-opening loss to win back-to-back matches, before dropping a 2-1 decision to Hastings’ Jayden Miller in the third-place match.

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Morningside captured the team title with 149.5 points, while Briar Cliff was second with 142 points and Doane was third with 123 points. DWU totaled 40 points, one behind eighth-place Jamestown.

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