EDMOND, Okla. -- Second-ranked Nebraska-Kearney won the 2014 NCAA Central Regional and qualified six individuals for nationals on Saturday afternoon.
UNK, two-time defending national champions, tallied 106.5 points to beat eighth-ranked Lindenwood (99.5), third-ranked St. Cloud State (99), 15th-ranked Fort Hays State (89), 17th-ranked Ouachita Baptist (85) and fourth-ranked Central Oklahoma (83) in a very competitive 17-team race.
The Central Region sends the top five finishers in each weight class to the NCAA Championships March 14-15 in Cleveland.
At 125 pounds, Marco Tamayo of Lindenwood was the only MIAA wrestler to advance taking third place with a 7-4 decision against St. Cloud State’s Tanner Johnshoy. At 133 pounds Daniel DeShazer of Nebraska-Kearney earned first place with Casy Rowell of Central Oklahoma also advancing with a third place finish.
At 141 pounds it was C.J. Napier of Fort Hays State winning the title against Kyle Webb of Lindenwood who also advances. Brock Coutu of Nebraska-Kearney will also move on to the national meet finishing fourth at the weight. At 149 pounds Central Missouri’s Frank Cagnina moved to by winning his weight class. Jordan Basks of Central Oklahoma also moves on after earning a pin in the fifth place match.
At 157 pounds MIAA Wrestler of the Year Cory Dauphin used a 10-7 decision to add regional champion to his accolades. At 165 pounds Chris Watson of Central Oklahoma claimed the regional title.
At 174 pounds Patrick Martinez of Nebraska-Kearney defeated Josh Rodriguez of Fort Hays State 4-2 in the title match as both advance to the national tournament. At 184 pounds Jon Inman of Fort Hays State defeated Mark Fiala of Nebraska-Kearney 7-3 in the championship match sending both the national tournament.
At 197 pounds Romero Cotton of Nebraska-Kearney earned 5-3 decision to claim the Central Regional championship.
And finally at 285 pounds Steven Butler of Lindenwood defeated Lorezo Serna of Newman for the title as both will make the trip to the national wrestling championships.