In only its second year in Division II, Notre Dame (Ohio) wins national title
CLEVELAND, Ohio – The No.1 Notre Dame College wrestling team claimed the 2014 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships in emphatic fashion with four wrestlers claiming individual national titles. Jonatan Rivera, Eric Burgey, Joey Davis and Garett Lineberger claimed national titles for the Falcons.
No. 5 Jonatan Rivera started the title run off for the Falcons at 157 pounds with a 5-2 decision victory against the previously unbeaten Cory Dauphin from Central Oklahoma. No.1 Eric Burgey was the second Falcon to claim a national title, at 165 pounds, with a 4-2 decision victory over Chris Watson from Central Oklahoma. Burgey, who is a senior, becomes a two-time NCAA Division II National Champion having won the national title at 174 pounds last year.
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No.1 Joey Davis completed his second unbeaten season to claim his second national title with a 4-1 victory against Adam Walters from Findlay. Davis completes a 39-0 season at 174 pounds to hold an unbeaten collegiate record of 72-0. Freshman Garrett Lineberger followed Davis's lead to claim a national title, at 184 pounds, in his first year as a collegiate wrestler. Linberger defeated Travis McKillop from Pitt Johnstown with a pin at the 4:54 mark. Lineberger was also the only wrestler in the tournament to record a pin in the championship finals. With the win Lineberger becomes the Falcons second freshman national champion in a row, after Joey Davis achieved the feat last year.
With four individual national champions the Falcons claimed a convincing, 35 point, team national championship. The Falcons amassed 99.5 points to beat two-time defending national champions Nebraska-Kearney, who finished with 64.5 points. Maryville finished in the third with 58.5 points, Ouachita Baptist finished fourth with 56 points and Central Oklahoma rounded out the top five with 54.5 points.
The national championship completes a unique double for the Falcons who also claimed the NWCA National Duals title in January of this year.
The team national championship is also Notre Dame College's first NCAA Division II national title and it comes in only their second year of full membership in the division.