SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Second-ranked Southern Oregon’s quest for the 2013 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals championship fell short in the title match as top-ranked Grand View overcame a seven-point deficit in the final two bouts to defeat the Raiders 20-18.
Southern Oregon earned a come-from-behind win over No. 3 Great Falls in the semifinals, taking down the Argonauts 23-19 to advance to the championship dual. The Raiders finish the 2013 Duals Championships with a 3-1 weekend mark and are now 6-1 overall this season. Grand View claims its second consecutive NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals championship.
“It’s also disappointing, but we are very proud of our effort,” SOU head coach Mike Ritchey said. “We were encouraged with the intensity and ability today. My hat is off to Grand View, as they wrestled a great dual.”
The Raiders built a 9-0 lead as top-ranked Mitchell Lofstedt pinned No. 10 Alex Peitz in 2:10 to claim the 125-pound bout and No. 1 Prescott Garner earned a 10-3 victory over Tanner Werner at 133. Lofstedt was named the Outstanding Wrestler of the NAIA Division for the tournament after earning pins in all three of his matches this weekend.
Grand View took three of the next four matches to make it 12-11 SOU. Second-ranked Gustavo Martinez defeated Justin Eldred 7-2 in the 141 before SOU’s top-ranked Jimmy Eggemeuer knocked off No. 2 Isaiah Tatum 3-1in overtime in a matchup of the NAIA’s top two 149-pounders.
The Vikings bounced back with a pair of major decision victories. Sixth-ranked Chad Lowman took down No. 11 Dalton Urrutia 11-0 in the 157 and No. 2 Jimmie Schuessler defeated Bryson Gutches 11-1 in the 165.
Brock Gutches and Jacob Abrams nearly put the dual away for the Raiders with decision victories in the 174 and the 184. The top-ranked Gutches defeated No. 4 Thomas Moman 5-3 and No. 12 Abrams took down No. 11 Christian Mays 3-2 in overtime to give SOU an 18-11 lead going into the final two bouts.
Top-ranked Derek Nightser earned a narrow 4-3 decision victory over No. 4 Taylor Johnson to make it 18-14, and No. 3 Eric Thompson gave the Vikings their first lead of the day in the final bout, pinning No. 8 Bubba Owens in 3:12 to clinch the title for Grand View.
“We will use this setback as motivation for the rest of the season,” Ritchey said. “It was short of our goal, but inspiring for things ahead. We will refocus on the next half of the season and build on this.”