Welcome to Day 4 of WIN Magazine’s countdown to the 2023 Final...
NCWA National Duals • NAIA Tournament Preview
NWCA Cliff Keen Multi-Divisional National Duals
Jan. 12-13 • Prairie Capital Convention Center • Springfield, Ill.
The following is a closer look at first-round match-ups, including potential head-to-head meetings of ranked wrestlers.
First-Round Match-ups on Jan. 12:
9 a.m. Matches
No. 1 Grand View vs. No. 16 Indiana Tech
The Vikings of Des Moines, Iowa, won both the National Duals and the NAIA team championship last March … and are picked to win again in 2013. One reason might be the fact that Grand View had 12 wrestlers ranked in the Jan. 9 ratings. (The NAIA allows more than one wrestler to compete at a weight class in the postseason and appear in the rankings.)
Indiana Tech meanwhile features just four wrestlers who appear among the NAIA top-16 rankings per weight class, including three possible match-ups against Grand View.
At 125 pounds, both Alex Peitz of Grand View and Justin Brooks of Indiana Tech were rated No. 10 in the latest rankings. The other possible match-up of ranked wrestlers could come at 157 pounds where a pair of rated Grand View wrestlers (No. 5 Quinten Haynes and No. 6 Chad Lowman) could face Indiana Tech’s No. 5 James Bennett. Meanwhile at 174 pounds, two more Grand View stars (No. 4 Thomas Moman and No. 9 Cody Swim) will be ready to take on No. 8 Tanner Martin of Tech.
Other highly-ranked wrestlers to watch for Grand View are No. 1-rated Derek Nightser at 197, while Gustavo Martinez, Isaiah Tatum, Jimmie Schuessler and Eric Thompson are all rated No. 2 at 141, 149, 165 and Hwt, respectively.
No. 8 Lindsey Wilson vs. No. 9 Dickinson State
There are three weight classes where rated wrestlers from Lindsey Wilson (located in Columbia, Ky.) and Dickinson State (from North Dakota) could face each other.
That would be at 184 where No. 3 Joseph Stephens (Lindsey Wilson) would take on No. 4 Jesse Hellinger (Dickinson State); at 197 pounds where DSU’s No. 9 Kevin Keisler will take on No. 10 Jacob Bradford of Lindsey Wilson; and at heavyweight, where LW had two rated men (No. 7 Theodore Furnish and No. 15 Jonathan Hupp), either of which will both trying to upset No. 2-ranked Jose Lopez of DSU.
Meawnwhile Lindsey Wilson features two other wrestlers ranked No. 3 (Wismit Moinius at 141 and Jameel Bryant at 174), while 125-pound Bryden Lazaro is rated No. 3 for Dickinson State.
No. 5 Campbellsville (Ky.) vs. No. 10 Missouri Valley
These teams have 18 ranked wrestlers between them (nine from the Kentucky school and nine for MVC located in Marshall, Mo.)
Of those, there could be four weights where there could be head-to-head match-ups:
At 133, where No. 8 Tyler Alsip of Campbellsville while try to knock off No. 3 Brian Bitney or No. 10 Dennis Welch of Missouri Valley;
At 149 where either No. 7 Chris Teague or No. 13 Kyle Terry of Campbellsville, will try to knock of No. 6 Jake Ekster of MVC;
At 157 where two Campbellsville wrestlers (No. 1 Conor Young and No. 12 Shawn McGhee) would be favored to beat Missouri Valley’s No. 14 Nico Martinez;
At 197, where No. 2 Allen Scrugg of Campbellsville and No. 5 Josh Manu would be set to meet.
No. 4 Montana State Northern vs. No. 11 Cumberlands
There are four weight classes where each school has a ranked wrestler, but the most notable meeting will could come at 165 pounds, where MSU-N’s No. 1-ranked Ethan Hinebauch will try to hold off No. 6 Zach Barkett of the Cumberlands of Tennessee.
Meanwhile at 125 pounds, MSU’s Aaron LaFarge (No. 5) and Cumberlands’ Andrew Tillman (No. 12) likely will meet, while MSU’s No. 2 Kody Reed will be favored to beat Cumberland’s No. 13 Jeremy Gardner at 184.
MSU-Northern’s other team leader is at 174 pounds, where No. 2 Max Payne should dominate.
11 am Matches
No. 3 Great Falls vs. No. 19 York (Neb)
Great Falls has 12 ranked wrestlers and two of them — Myles Mazurkiewicz (No. 1 at 141) and Ryan Leonard (No. 2 at 157) — are two of the most talented for the Northern Lights. Of those two, Mazurkiewicz could face the biggest test as York features No. 7-ranked Josh Lopez.
Another great battle could come at heavyweight, Great Falls No. 5 Sears Tiernan should meet No. 9 Ray Johnson.
No. 6 Oklahoma City vs. No. 17 Midland (Neb.)
There are only two weight classes with possible head-to-head meetings between ranked wrestlers.
One will be at 174, where OKC’s No. 3 Mark Meyer will face No. 16 Connor Hovey. The other will come at 197 where the Stars’ No. 6 Mike Brown will be looking to upset No. 3 Kolton Kersten, Midland’s highest-ranked wrestler.
No. 7 Morningside (Iowa) vs. No. 12 Baker
Morningside, holding a 9-6 edge over the school from Kansas, should win this match-up, but Baker (in just its second year as a varsity program) does feature a top-ranked wrestler in heavyweight Brandon Gebhardt, who should get an immediate challenge from fourth-ranked Tyler Kacmarynski of Morningside.
Morningside also features a pair of wrestlers ranked in the top two at their weight class: Kory Kistner (No. 2 at 125) and Brian Block (No. 1 at 184).
No. 2 Southern Oregon vs. No. 13 Missouri Baptist
Southern Oregon has won this tournament before … and could do the same thing this year considering the Raiders feature four wrestlers ranked No. 1: 125-pound Mitchell Lofstedt, 133-pound Prescott Gardner, 149-pound Jimmy Eggemeyer and 174-pound Brock Gutches.
Lofstedt, a two-time NAIA champion, could get the biggest challenge in the first round considering Missouri Baptist features two ranked wrestlers at 125 pounds: Deteorious Prayther (4th) and Gabriel Roman (6th).