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Viking Wrestlers Champions at Keen National Duals


The No. 2 Grand View wrestling team gutted out a win over No. 3 Southern Oregon and upset top-rated Great Falls (Mont.) to win its first national title at the Cliff Keen National Duals Sunday in Springfield, Illinois.

The Vikings outlasted Southern Oregon, defeating the Raiders 19-18. Three Vikings toppled higher ranked opponents – No. 4 Nick Coffman won an 8-3 decision over No. 3 Kyle Wirkuty at 141, No. 10 TJ Moen won a 5-4 overtime decision against No. 4 Jimmy Eggemeyer at 149, and No. 4 Derek Nightser won a 9-7 decision over No. 2 Austin Vanderford at 197 pounds.  

GV dominated the championship match-up against the No. 1 team in the NAIA Great Falls.  The Vikings won eight of ten matches with five close decisions. Moen took down another higher ranked opponent with a 7-3 decision over No. 3 Mike Vassar at 149 and No. 12 Jimmie Schuessler defeated No. 5 Michael Hader 6-2 at 157 pounds.

Brad Lower (165) and Derek Nightser (197) both won by fall to finish the weekend 4-0 at the Duals.

Following the tournament, senior Eric Thompson was named the National Duals NAIA Outstanding Wrestler. Thompson went 3-0 against ranked opponents over the weekend, including a fall over No. 1 Leviticus Roberson of Midland on Saturday and No. 7 Sears Tiernan of Great Falls and No. 12 Bubba Owens of Southern Oregon on Sunday.