Third-Straight Title for Vikings at Cliff Keen National Duals
No. 1 Grand View dominated two top-ten teams en route to its third-straight Cliff Keen National Duals title Sunday in Des Moines. Throughout the Cliff Keen Duals, Grand View won 33-of-40 matches and the Vikings took 17-of-20 in today's semifinal and championship action.
The Vikings took down #4 Great Falls (Mont.) 29-3 in the semifinals and handled #7 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 32-6 in the championship today.
In the semifinal, GV won nine of the ten bouts, but was challenged by Great Falls with all but one match-up a win by decision. Heavyweight Eric Thompson's (Shell Rock, Iowa) pin in :11 capped off the semifinal dual.
Ryak Finch (Reading, Ariz.) set the tone for the championship against Lindsey Wilson with a 10-2 major decision over Myron Bradbury at 125 pounds. At 133, Brandon Benvenuti (Sacramento, Calif.) held off Keaton Thomas for a 7-6 decision to put GV up 7-0 in the team scoring.
Top-rated Gustavo Martinez (Marshalltown, Iowa) faced #3 Wismit Moinius in the 141 match. At the end of the third period the score was tied 1-1, but Martinez owned a riding time advantage to win 2-1. Brandon Wright (Indianapolis, Ind.) won a solid 6-1 decision over #15 Stephen Myers at 149 pounds to put the Vikings up 13-0.
It was a showdown between the top two wrestlers in the nation at 157 with GV's #2 Quinten Haynes (Waterloo, Iowa) up against top-ranked Joe Cozart of Lindsey Wilson. Haynes battled Cozart through regulation to send the match to overtime tied at two-all. Cozart was awarded a takedown in the extra period to edge Haynes 4-2.
GV was soon back on the winning track with Chad Lowman (Des Moines, Iowa) pinning Cadyn McKeeth in 5:33 giving GV a 19-3 lead with four matches remaining.
A 7-5 decision by Jimmie Schuessler (Slater, Iowa) over Erick Gomez at 174 pounds sealed the Nationals Duals win for Grand View, but the Vikings final three wrestlers battled until the end.
It was another r#1 vs. #2 clash in the 184 pound bout with #2 Christian Mays (Goodyear, Ariz.) up against #1 Jameel Bryant. Despite a late escape by Mays to pull within one, he fell just short in the 3-2 loss to Bryant.
AJ Mott (Clifton, N.J.) won in dominating fashion at 197 with a 9-1 major decision over Jake Maupin. At 285, Thompson put an exclamation point on the three-peat and pinned Jonathan Hupp in just eleven seconds.
The Vikings, undefeated in dual action this season, will go back to business as usual on Monday as they continue to prepare to defend their NAIA Championship title. The NAIA National Championship will be held March 7-8 in Topeka, Kansas.