March 15, 2009

HOUSTON - The University of Nebraska at Omaha wrestling team capped off an undefeated dual season with its sixth National Championship in school history, crowning one individual champion Saturday night.

The win gives UNO NCAA II wrestling titles in 1991, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2009. The Mavericks also won the 1970 NAIA tournament championship.

The Mavericks finished with a total of 146.5 points, shattering their previous high of 117 points set in 2006. UNO nearly doubled second place Newberry who finished with 80.5 points.

Head coach Mike Denney was named the Coach of the Year, while Cody Garcia picked up the award for Most Falls in the Least Amount of Time.

Todd Meneely became just the fourth wrestler in school history to win three or more titles and the first since JD Naig in 2007. The 157-pound Meneely also became the first wrestler to finish a season undefeated (27-0) since four-time National Champion Les Sigman finished his senior season 47-0 in 2006. The senior from Skutt Catholic recorded a first period takedown and an overtime takedown for the dramatic 4-2 decision against Travis Eggers (Upper Iowa). Meneely finishes his Maverick career with a record of 85-5.

Aaron Denson came away with a runner-up finish at 165 pounds, falling 5-0 to the top-ranked wrestler Josh Shields of Mercyhurst. Denson finishes his sophomore campaign with a record of 30-8 and 11-2 in duals.

Brent Pankoke finished second at 184 pounds, dropping a 6-4 decision to fifth-ranked Kyle Sand (Adams State). Pankoke finishes his senior season with a record of 16-2.

At 197 pounds, three-time national qualifier Jacob Marrs claimed a second place finish, dropping a 3-2 decision to Newberry's fourth-ranked Keeno Griffin. The junior concludes the season with a record of 25-9.

The Mavericks set a school record with nine wrestlers earning All-Americans honors, breaking the previous mark of eight set in the 2000 season. UNO's 2009 All-Americans:

133 - Cody Garcia, 3rd Place 141 - Mario Morgan, 3rd Place 149 - Esai Dominguez, 3rd Place 157 - Todd Meneely, 1st Place 165 - Aaron Denson, 2nd Place 174 - Ross Taplin, 3rd Place 184 - Brent Pankoke, 2nd Place 197 - Jacob Marrs, 2nd Place 285 - Tony Lewis, 7th Place

Championship Results 125 Arsenia Barksdale (Adams State) WBD Thomas Edgmon (Fort Hays State) D 3-1 133 Joe Kemmerer (Kutztown) WBD Shane Valko (Pittsburgh-Johnson) D 2-1 141 Doug Surra (West Liberty State) WBD Raymond Dunning (Adams State) D 5-3 149 Tommy Abbott (Minnesota State-Moorhead) WBD Christopher Freije (Western State) D 6-5 157 Todd Meneely (UNO) WBD Travis Eggers (Upper Iowa) D 4-2 165 Josh Shields (Mercyhurst) WBD Aaron Denson (UNO) D 5-0 174 Brett Hunter (Chadron State) WBD Kamarudeen Usman (Nebraska-Kearney) D 3-2 184 Kyle Sand (Adams State) WBD Brent Pankoke D 6-4 197 Keeno Griffin (Newberry) WBD Jacob Marrs (UNO) D 3-2 285 Cy Wainwright (Newberry) WBD Dustin Finn (Central Oklahoma) D 6-4

Final Team Scores 1. Nebraska-Omaha - 146.5 2. Newberry - 80.5 3. Minnesota State, Mankato - 71.5 4. Nebraska-Kearney - 65.0 5. Adams State - 62.0

Coach of the Year: Mike Denney Most Falls in least amount of time: Cody Garcia Most Outstanding Wrestler: Joe Kemmerer (Kutztown)