Jan. 2, 2009

Courtesy of Adams State

Adams State College wrestling fans can follow the Grizzlies' bid for a third straight Midwest Classic Title on the University of Indianapolis' tournament website.

Brackets and teams scores will be updated throughout the 2-day tournament that begins Saturday morning at 10 a.m. EST (8 a.m. Mountain) in UIndy's Nicoson Hall.

A total of 20 teams are expected to compete.  The No. 4 Grizzlies are the highest ranked of eight squads ranked in the Top 20 of the latest (Dec. 2) NCAA Division II National Wrestling Coaches Association Rankings.

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Adams State At Midlands

EVANSTON, Ill.— Junior 157-pounder Noomis Jones (Arvada, Colo.) went a respectable 2-2 but was the only one of three Grizzlies in action to win a match against all Division I competition at the 48th annual Midlands Championships that started Monday here in Northwestern University’s Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Jones scored all three of ASC’s team points in the prestigious 48-team tournament that features a full half of the top 10 Division I teams in the country.  Senior Raymond Dunning (Nashville, Tenn.), wrestling at 141 pounds, and junior Kyle Sand (Arvada, Colo.), going at 184 pounds each went 0-2.

The Grizzlies, who did not advance any of their small contingent to Tuesday’s portion of the tournament, stand in a 4-way tie for 37th place in the team standings after day one, but can be passed by just one team— Stanford, which has only one wrestler still alive in the consolation bracket.

Defending Champion and top-ranked Iowa put seven wrestlers in the championship semifinals and leads the tournament with 93 points, 10.5 more than in-state rival Iowa State, ranked second in the latest (Dec. 23) USA Today/Intermat/National Wrestling Coaches Association Division I Rankings.  The Hawkeyes, who also have three wrestlers remaining in consolation bracket, have won a tournament-record 19 team titles.

No. 5 Missouri is third with 73.5 points while the Big 10 Conference has six teams in the top 10.

Jones, ranked second in the latest (Dec. 2) NCAA Division II National Wrestling Coaches Association Rankings, is now 9-5 on the year.  All five of the returning All-American’s losses have come to Division I foes as the Grizzlies competed in three Division I dominated tournaments in the month of December. 

On Monday, he got off to a good start recording a 9-2 decision win over Wisconsin’s Kendall Vogel.  After dropping a 4-2 bout to Michigan State’s Anthony Jones in the second round, Noomis Jones received a bye in the consolation bracket.

He then scored a 10-2 major decision win over Air Force’s Joe Stafford before Tennessee-Chattanooga’s Joey Knox ended his day with a 6-2 win.

Dunning, who is now 12-7 overall with all seven losses coming to Division I opponents, dropped an opening round match to Purdue’s Juan Archuleta by a 12-4 score before seeing his day come to a close with a 2-1 heartbreaking defeat at the hands of Northern Illinois’ Dan Ruettiger in consolation bracket.

A 2-time All-American, Dunning is ranked first in NCAA Division II.

Sand is now 4-6 this year, although all of his losses have come against Division I foes as well.  On Monday, he dropped a 5-3 decision to Eric Cameron of Indiana in the round of 32.  After receiving a bye through his first consolation match, Sand then fell to Central Michigan’s Vince Didona by a 9-5 margin.

Sand is ranked second in Division II at 197 pounds, the weight he wrestled at in his first tournament of the year.

The Grizzlies, who have faced a brutally tough schedule of Division I tournaments all season, next travel to Indianapolis, Ind. in search of a third straight Midwest Classic Title this Saturday and Sunday in the University of Indianapolis’ Nicoson Hall.

The Grizzlies enter that tournament ranked fourth in the nation at the NCAA Division II level.