No. 1 Labette dominates NJCAA National Duals

Top-ranked Labette has won two National Junior College Athletic Association team championships since 2005, including last February. But the Kansas Community College had been forced to play bridesmaid at the Cliff Keen NWCA National Duals tournament since winning the first NJCAA National Duals event in 2006; finishing second in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

But when it came to this year’s National Duals, held Jan. 11-12 in Springfield, Ill., there was no question who was the best junior college team in Prairie Capital Convention Center … as the Cardinals won 27 of 30 individual bouts — 13 by falls — to outscore three opponents, 126-15, for its second National Duals title.

To break down Labette’s performance, the Cardinals opened with a 41-6 over Iowa Falls, as Josh Walker (125), Jeromy Davenport (157), Ethan Lindquist (184) and Shelby Krout (197) all scored falls; the fastest by Krout in 36 seconds.

In the semifinals, a 46-6 win over Niagra, Eric Hughes (133), Spencer Rutherford (149), Devin Aguirre (165), Payne Hatter (174) and heavyweight Jack Page all scored falls.

In the championship dual, a 39-3 win over Colby, the Cardinals won the first nine matches, including pins by Walker, Hughes, Hatter and Cody Johnson (184).

Colby, meanwhile, reached the finals when the Kansas school defeated five-time champion Iowa Central, 36-9, in the semifinals. Colby won eight of the individual weights, including a 15-0 technical fall by Dylan Braun at 184 pounds and a 2011 major decision by Cash Drylie. But Iowa Central, which opened with a pin by Tristan Bundy, forfeited the 133- and 141-pound weight classes.

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