Photos: There was plenty of buzz between Penn State (left) and Iowa...
Junior College NWCA National Duals 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. The numbers associated with the teams are their seedings for the tournament, not their current NJCAA rankings. North Idaho, which was ranked No. 1 in the Dec. 21 NJCAA ratings, is not competing in the National Duals.
First-Round Match-ups on Jan. 12:
All matches begin at 9 a.m.
No. 1 Labette (Kan.) vs. No. 8 Iowa Lakes
Labette, which finished second to Iowa Central in the 2012 National Duals and is rated No. 2 in current NJCAA ratings, features eight men in the national rankings, including top-ranked heavyweight Trey Page … as well as three wrestlers — 125-pound Josh Walker, 165-pound Devin Aguirre and 174-pound Ethan Orr — who where ranked No. 2. The other rated wrestlers are Eric Hughes (third at 133), Tyler Davis (fifth at 141), Spencer Rutherford (fifth at 149) and Jeromy Davenport (third at 157).
Iowa Lakes, located in northwest Iowa, features three ranked wrestlers, led by Nick Lawrence, rated No. 4 at 174. Meanwhile Dylan Knoechne is 12th at 125 and Skyler Rice is 6th at 133.
No. 4 Niagra vs. No. 5 Lincoln
Located in Sanborn, N.Y. – and just northeast of the famous Niagra Falls — should send five ranked wrestlers to Springfield: Barney Prince (6th at 125), Caleb Green (7th at 133), Irvin Buck (2nd at 157), Chris Schimek (1st at 165) and John Brabon (8th at 174).
The only probable chance of a head-to-head match-up against a ranked wrestler from this Illinois junior college — which is 35 miles north of Springfield — would come at 165 where Lincoln’s No. 6 Darnell Thomas will be looking to knock off the top-ranked Schimek.
Meanwhile, Lincoln’s other rated wrestlers are Takil Agnes (12th at 149), Stephon Rudicil (11th at 184), Archie Williams (6th at 197) and Dequence Goodman (10th at heavyweight).
No. 3 Colby vs. No. 6 Harper
When these Kansas and Illinois community colleges meet, there are three weight classes featuring head-to-head meetings of ranked men on paper: 133, Josh Martinez (4th) of Colby will be challenged by Harper’s Zach Hummel (9th); 174, where Colby’s Justin Armstrong (11th) faces Harper’s Tyler Thomas (12th); and at 184, where Colby’s Dylan Braun (2nd) should meet Kalvin Argueta (9th) of Harper.
Colby also features Bryce Lewis (third at 165), while Harper (located in Palatine, Ill.) will send Donnie Simpson (7th at 149), Steve Dewitt (10th at 157) and Mike Summerville (8th at 197) to the Duals.
No. 2 Iowa Central vs. No. 7 Neosho
Oddly, according to the Dec. 21 NJCAA national rankings, Iowa Central was rated No. 11 as a team and the Tritons of Ft. Dodge, Iowa, featured just two ranked wrestlers: Frank Cagnina (1st at 149) and Colin Hewitt (4th at 165).
Neosho of Chanute, Kan., actually features more ranked men: 125-pound Tim Prescott (8th); 133-pound Le’Roy Barnes (1st); 141-pound Terrance Moore (10th); and 149-pound Kyle Graumenz (10th).