DeShazer, Raufeon bout wins help Nebraska-Kearney repeat as champion
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Nebraska-Kearney has successfully defended its national title, scoring 108.0 points to edge St. Cloud State and Notre Dame (Ohio) on Saturday at the NCAA Division II championships.
The Lopers, who also placed first in 2008, entered the finals with 101.0 points, one point ahead of top-ranked St. Cloud State.
UNK secured the team trophy when redshirt-freshman Daniel DeShazer (133 pounds) and senior Raufeon Stots (149 pounds) each beat a St. Cloud wrestler to win individual national crowns.
Later, senior Chase Nelson (165 pounds) and redshirt-freshman Romero Cotton (197 pounds) finished as national runner-ups. Kearney actually scored 109.0 points but was docked a point for team misconduct.
Finishing with seven All-Americans, the Lopers came in just ahead of St. Cloud State (105.0) and Notre Dame (Ohio) (103.5), who was making its first trip to the NCAAs.
Ranked fourth, DeShazer took on Bennington senior Andrew Pokorny, a second-ranked senior.
Leading from start to finish, he tallied a takedown at 2:02 of the first period and added a second 30 seconds later. Up 5-2 after the second period, he recorded another takedown and then hung on for a 7-5 win. DeShazer ends his first year in Kearney at 33-8 (21-1 versus DII competition).
Looking to join Brett Allgood, Ali Elias and Tervel Dlagnev as Lopers with two national titles, top-ranked Stots got a takedown about two minutes into his 149-pound final match against St. Cloud senior Jacob D. Horn.
A second-period takedown gave Stots a 4-3 lead heading into the final two minutes. Neither wrestler scored in the third period but the final 10 seconds provided a lot of action; Stots got close to a takedown and then Horn almost returned the favor.
Stots finished his senior year 34-4 (26-2 versus DII competition).
The 165-pound title match was between top-ranked Joey Davis of NDC and second-ranked Nelson.
Davis showed why he went unbeaten in his first collegiate season (30-0) as he had two powerful takedowns in the first period and added another in the second. Nelson managed three escapes and ends his one and only year in Kearney at 30-4 (21-2 versus DII competition).
Finally at 197 pounds, Cotton ran into Matt Baker, a senior at Maryville-St. Louis.
Ranked eighth nationally, Cotton grabbed the early lead on top-ranked Baker (36-1) by getting a takedown at the 1:35 mark of the first period.
However, Baker used two escapes to tie the match heading into the final period. After Cotton escaped early in the third, Baker used a takedown with a minute to go to grab his first lead. Cotton escaped to tie things up and then almost got a takedown with time winding down. However, the buzzer sounded and the match went into overtime tied at four.