Des Moines, Iowa -
Grand View inches closer to first NAIA championship
While not a mathematician by trade, NAIA tournament volunteer Chris Andringa is pretty good at figuring out team points.
What did he figure out after the fourth session of the 55th annual NAIA National Championships at the Jacobson Exhibition Center in Des Moines?
Grand View University's fourth year wrestling program doesn't have the team title locked up, but its extremely close to being assured.
The Vikings, coached by Nick Mitchell, are a handful of victories away from earning the schools' first team championship. After going 6-2 in the semifinal round, Grand View holds a 23-point lead (141.5-118.5) over second-place Southern Oregon heading into the final day.
Grand View has nine of its 12 qualified wrestlers assured of medal placement and Omi Acosta (133), Brad Lower (165), Derek Nightser (197) and Eric Thompson (285) set to wrestle for championships Saturday night.
Southern Oregon kept pace with total finalists with four, but with only two wrestlers left in the consolation bracket, the Raiders might have a bigger battle holding off third-place Campbellsville than overtaking the top-ranked team in the country.
Campbellsville put two into wrestlers into the finals and sits in third with 100.5 points.
Leading the Grand View surge was unbeaten 197-pounder Derek Nightser. The unbeaten junior from Council Bluffs started the day by beating top-ranked Jamelle Jones of Campbellsville and in Friday night's semifinals, he beat Great Falls' Kamron Jackson 8-3.
Nightser fill face Midland's Joshua Marsh in the finals at 197. Marsh topped Campbellsville's Spencer Adams 2-1 to reach the final.
Acosta started out the round with a controlled 9-5 win over top-ranked Tim Thurston of Campbellsville at 133 pounds. Acosta will face Lindsey Wilson's Keith Klink in the finals. Klink beat Shorter's Nathan Galloway 4-2 to become the school's first national finalist.
Lower got past a funky Pat Nord of Jamestown 9-6 to reach the finals at 165 pounds. Lower will face returning All-American Kevin Hardy of Oklahoma City. Hardy, third a year ago for Notre Dame College, pinned Montana State-Northern's Ethan Hinebauch in 35 seconds.
Following Nightser's win, Eric Thompson, a former Iowa State Cyclone, pinned Oklahoma City's Mike Brown in just over a minute to reach the finals at heavyweight. Thompson will face second-ranked Brandon Gebhardt, who beat Shorter's Andrew Ewers 5-1 in sudden victory.
Two-time champion Mitchell Lofstedt of Southern Oregon remained on a mission to win his third national title, pinning Missouri Baptist's Deteoreious Prayther at 2:29. Lofstedt will defend his title against Morningside's Kory Kistner, who defeated Great Falls' Danny Luttrell 5-2 at 125 pounds.
Lofstedt joins teammates Jimmy Eggemeyer (149), Brock Gutches (184) and Austin Vanderford (184) in the championship finals.
Eggemeyer topped Shay Shive of Missouri Valley 6-5 to move into the finals at 149 where he'll face off with William Penn's well-inked Eric Burgey. The Easton, Pa., native beat Grand View's T.J. Moen 2-1 in the semifinals for the right to face Eggemeyer.
Gutches, the nephew of two-time NCAA champion and World Champion Les Gutches, was solid in a 9-3 victory over Oklahoma City's Derek Peperas. Gutches will face Lindsey Wilson's Joseph Stephens, an 8-3 winner over Ty Knowler of Grand View, in the finals at 174 pounds.
Vanderford will face Campbellsville's Allen Scruggs in the finals at 184 pounds after Vanderford got past Missouri Baptist's Weston Keleher 5-4. Scruggs, one of two Campbellsville finalists, edged another Southern Oregon wrestlers, Derrick Rottenberg 5-4 in the second tiebreaker to advance.
Campbellsville's other finalist, Chris Teague at 141 pounds, edged Montana State-Northern's Anthony Weerheim 10-8. Teague will face returning national champion Anthony Varnell of Great Falls, who bested teammate Myles Mazurkiewicz 7-3.
In addition to Stephens and Klink, Lindsey Wilson, in only its second year of wrestling, earned a third finalist with Charlie Pingleton at 157 pounds. Pingleton beat Waldorf's Jeremy Padilla 5-3 in the semifinals. Pingleton will face top-ranked Nik Turner of Oklahoma City, a 12-2 winner over Campbellsville's Conor Young.
1. Grand View 141.5; 2. Southern Oregon 118.5; 3. Campbellsville 100.5; 4. Lindsey Wilson 84; 5. Oklahoma City 75; 6. Great Falls 73.5; 7. Midland 62; 8. Missouri Valley 59.5; 9. Montana State-Northern 58.5; 10. Baker 58.
Kory Kistner (Morningside) won by decision over Danny Luttrell (Great Falls) Dec 5-2
Mitchell Lofstedt (Southern Oregon) won by pin over Deteoreious Prayther (Missouri Baptist) Pin 2:39
Omi Acosta (Grand View) won by decision over Tim Thurston (Campbellsville) Dec 9-5
Keith Klink (Lindsey Wilson) won by decision over Nathan Galloway (Shorter) Dec 4-2
Chris Teague (Campbellsville) won by decision over Anthony Weerheim (Montana State-Northern) Dec 10-8
Anthony Varnell (Great Falls) won by decision over Myles Mazurkiewicz (Great Falls) Dec 7-3
Jimmy Eggemeyer (Southern Oregon) won by decision over Shay Shive (Missouri Valley) Dec 6-5
Eric Burgey (William Penn) won by decision over TJ Moen (Grand View) Dec 4-1
Nik Turner (Oklahoma City) won by major decision over Conor Young (Campbellsville) Maj 12-2
Charlie Pingleton (Lindsey Wilson) won by decision over Jeremy Padilla (Waldorf) Dec 5-3
Kevin Hardy (Oklahoma City) won by pin over Ethan Hinebauch (Montana State-Northern) Pin 0:35
Brad Lower (Grand View) won by decision over Pat Nord (Jamestown) Dec 9-6
Joseph Stephens (Lindsey Wilson) won by decision over Ty Knowler (Grand View) Dec 8-3
Brock Gutches (Southern Oregon) won by decision over Derek Peperas (Oklahoma City) Dec 9-3
Allen Scruggs (Campbellsville) won in overtime over Derrick Rottenberg (Southern Oregon) OT 5-4
Austin Vanderford (Southern Oregon) won by decision over Weston Keleher (Missouri Baptist) Dec 5-4
Derek Nightser (Grand View) won by decision over Kamron Jackson (Great Falls) Dec 8-3
Joshua March (Midland) won by decision over Spencer Adams (Campbellsville) Dec 2-1
Brandon Gebhardt (Baker) won in overtime over Andrew Ewers (Shorter) OT 5-1
Eric Thompson (Grand View) won by pin over Mike Brown (Oklahoma City) Pin 1:08