FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Losing five matches by a total of seven points, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M suffered a 23-9 loss to Clackamas (Oregon) Community College in the finals of the National Wrestling Coaches Association Multi-Divisional National Duals here Friday afternoon.
The loss was the first in dual competition this season for the Norsemen, who went into the meet holding down the No. 1 ranking in the NJCAA.
“They could have gone either way,” Norse coach Joe Renfro said. “It’s one of those situations where we’re not going to be where we at going to be at in another month and a half and we knew that.
“It’s good for us that they left us in those matches and bad for them because we are coming back with vengeance.”
Northeastern Oklahoma A&M topped Northwest Kansas Tech 38-3 in the first round and Western Wyoming 31-15 in action Thursday.
The Golden Norse bounced Ellsworth (Iowa) Community College 27-12 in the semifinals.
The Panthers’ score was docked one point for unsportsmanlike conduct when Steven Lawrence threw his headgear after being pinned by Alex Nelson.
Clackamas advanced to the finals with a 23-7 win against Iowa Central.
Clackamas had defeated NEO 25-12 in the semifinals here a year ago and scored a 26-15 victory against the Norse in the 2015 finals.
“They did it to us last year then we beat them by 75 points at the national tournament,” Renfro said.
The Norse claimed their second national title in three years last February.
NEO managed only three wins in Friday’s championship dual:Sean DeShazer logged an 11-4 decision over Blake McNall at 133 pounds; Saul Ortiz squeezed by Colt Doyle 3-2 at 174, and Shawn Beeson rolled 7-0 against Kyle Anderegg at 285.
But there were lots of nail biters.
Dylan Lucas lost his 149-pound final to Josh Reyes 3-2 and Ruston Duke suffered a 9-8 loss to Nick Maximov at 197.
John Leal used an escape and riding time to notch a 2-0 win over Nelson at 157.
Dillon Ulrey of Clackamas ground out a 6-4 win over Wyatt Jordan at 165.
The other close match saw Haszell West top NEO 184-pounder Devin Crawl 6-2.
Logan Terrill lost a 12-1 major decision to David Campbell at 125 and Caleb Basma — normally a 133-pounder — dropped a 12-2 major decision against Kurt Mode.
DeShazer and Ortiz won all four of their matches in the competition while Lucas and Jordan were 3-1.
Beeson had the hardest luck of the tournament for NEO. He won twice but the two losses came in overtime.
The Golden Norse travel to Kearney, Nebraska, Friday for the Kearney Duals.