Jan. 13, 2010

By Amy Farnum

No. 1 Nebraska-Omaha cruised to a 25-6 win over second-ranked Newberry College on Jan. 10 as the Mavericks claimed their second straight NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals title with a 4-0 record on the weekend.

It was the fifth time UNO has won the event, and the championship dual was a rematch of last year's 23-19 win against Newberry.

Senior 133-pounder Cody Garcia remained unbeaten on the season as he went 4-0 to improve to 28-0 overall.  Redshirt freshman 125-pounder Terrell McKinney posted a 4-0 mark in his first National Duals, including an upset of Newberry's third-ranked Matt Oliver, while fourth-ranked Jacob Marrs upended No. 1 Keeno Griffin, 8-6, in a 197-pound showdown.  The two All-Americans also tangled in last year's NCAA Championship finals Griffin winning that match. Marrs went 4-0 on the weekend.
UNO (4-0) will hold its first home dual of the season when it welcomes Lindenwood on Jan. 15, and then hosts the Brand Open at Jan. 16.

MAVERICK MAN: Minnesota State's Brady Wilson posted a 4-0 record at the NWCA National Duals, sparking the Mavericks to a third-place finish at the event.

Wilson, the top-ranked heavyweight in Division II, registered three victories over nationally-ranked opponents, including a 4-3 decision versus No. 2 Charlie Alexander of Western State.  He also knocked off No. 3 Elijah Madison of UNO, and blanked No. 5 Frank McGrath of Gannon.  

The native of Faribault, Minn., improved to 17-6 on the year with the four wins, and garnered Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Wrestler of the Week for his performance.  All six of Wilson's losses have been to Division I opponents.

MVP PERFORMANCE: UW-Parkside 149-pound Craig Becker was selected the Most Valuable Wrestler at the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals, compiling a 5-0 record at the event as the sixth-ranked Rangers went 3-2 on the weekend.

Becker entered the National Duals as the No. 2 seed, and upended No. 1 Mitch Smith of West Liberty State, 3-1, during his 5-0 run.  

"It was an honor he deserved but I was surprised," said UW-Parkside head coach Jim Koch. "Usually, the Most Valuable Wrestler goes to someone on one of the top two teams. He gave up only two takedowns in the tournament."

Becker (19-2) fell to Smith earlier this season, one of his two losses on the year.

BATTLE OF THE BEST:  Central Oklahoma welcomes Nebraska-Kearney on Jan. 14 in a battle between two squads tied for third in the NCAA Division II rankings.  

Both teams have won national championships in the last three years, with the Bronchos taking their 15th title in 2007 and UNK winning its first in 2008.  UCO owns a 16-5 lead in the series, but the Lopers won the dual, 24-17, last year in Kearney.

"This is a big dual for us and we're going to have to be ready to wrestle a full seven minutes in every match," UCO coach David James said.   "We've had a couple of good practices getting ready and I'm anxious to see how we'll perform."