MIAMI — Boo Dryden, Jack Karstetter and Zeke Silva of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M turned in first place finishes at the Golden Norsemen Open wrestling tournament Saturday, Jan. 27.
They were among 12 members of the NEO team who placed in the tournament, which wrapped up the regular season for the Norse.
“It was another good outing by most of our wrestlers this weekend,” NEO coach Joe Renfro said. “Boo, Jack, Zeke Rubio, Devin, Zeke Silva and Brian had a pretty good day. The only losses we suffered were to quality Central Oklahoma, OU and OSU guys and we did our fair share of damage against those teams as well.”
Gus Boyd and Brian Andrews were second, Zeke Rubio and Kyle Caldwell finished third and Devin Crawl, Jordan Dieringer and Ben Elledge turned in fourth-place finishes.
Also, Corbin Nirschl was second and Kole Rollins fourth while wrestling unattached.
“We’re headed in the right direction and we’ll keep the momentum rolling for the post-season,” Renfro said. “It appears we haven’t been able to put our full strength lineup on the mat at the same time this semester, but we will have them ready to go next weekend at the National Qualifier. It will be exciting to see all of our main guys competing to gauge just how good we are.
“Fortunately we’ve been able to find success with some backups in the lineup throughout the month of January while getting some of the others healed up for the final show.”
Dryden pinned Taywone McNack of Cowley County (Kansas) Community College at 1:26 in the 125-pound bracket final.
He pinned Mathew Connelly of Lyon College at 2:07 in the quarterfinals and decisioned Devon Jackson of College of the Ozarks 5-3 in the semifinal round.
Karstetter logged a 12-4 major decision over NEO teammate Corbin Nirschl, who was wrestling unattached, in the 133-championship match.
He pinned his first two opponents, Chris Hansen, unattached, at 4:38 and Terrell Banelos of Central Christian at 2:26.
Nirschl got a 6-5 major decision over Tyler West of Cowley, pinned Von Gray, UCO unattached at 4:47 then decisioned Robb Rodriguez of Lyon College 8-4 to set up his title match with Karstetter.
Silva pinned NEO’s Gus Boyd at 3:15 to win the 197-pound title.
He pinned Andrew Cannon of University of the Ozarks, 1:40 then topped Rollins 5-3 by sudden victory.
Boyd reached the finals when he pinned Josh Snook of Central Christian at 0:56 then decisioned Cameron Barnes of University of the Ozarks, 2-1, in the semis.
Andrews dropped a 5-3 decision to Lance Dixon, OU unattached, in the heavyweight final.
Along the way to the finals, he pinned Tyler Shannon, Cowley, at 2:43; scored a 14-6 major decision over Eli Boulton, OU unattached, then eked out a 2-1 decision over Cornelius Putnam, OSU unattached.
Rubio decisioned Tynere Mickens of Bacone 7-3 in the 157-pound third-place match.
Caldwell picked up a 4-3 decision over Tracy Reeder, UCO unattached, to finish third at 165.
He pinned NEO unattached wrestler Colin Brenna in the quarterfinals.
Crawl suffered a 2-0 loss to Cristian Bahl, OSU unattached, to finish fourth at 174.
Crawl had decisioned Bahl 5-2 in the quarterfinal round and beat teammate Jacob Mintzmyer 10-7 in the consolation semifinals.
Dieringer dropped a 6-3 decision to Bear Hughes, OSU unattached, in the 184-pound fourth-place match.
Cornelius Putnam, OSU unattached, pinned Elledge at 3:54 of their fourth-place heavyweight bout.
Elledge won by injury default against Blake Andrews in the consolation semifinals.
Andrews is a former Norse All-American and brother of current NEO heavyweight Brian Andrews.
Rollins suffered a 5-3 loss to Cameron Barnes of the University of the Ozarks to place fourth at 197.
Others wrestling for the Norse varsity were Jory Brummett, 141; Kendon Lee and Josh Moore, 149; Cody Rains, Preston Golden, Marqual Graham, Justin Peterson and Skye Paulk, 157; D.J. Kessler, Mintzmyer, Carlos Diaz and Jaron Howard, 174; Justin Cates, 184, and Russell Coats, heavyweight
Those from NEO wrestling unattached were Jeremy Fuentes, 125; Brandon Johnson and Shawn Tillman, 141; Sam Shore, 157; Colin Brennan, 165; Christian Rosales, 174, and Jonathan Waters and Taylor Cook, 184.
“College wrestling isn’t necessarily about the best competitors on the mat that win a National Title; it usually ends up being won by the toughest group and I know we’re close,” Renfro said. “We’ve got to put some nagging injuries behind us and get the job done.”