COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — Wyatt Jordan is playing it low key heading into this weekend’s NJCAA National Wrestling Championships.
The Northeastern Oklahoma A&M 165-pounder is attempting to do something only one other wrestler in the program’s modern era: win a second straight national title.
“It’s just win the match in front of you and not worry about the next one,” said Jordan, a sophomore from Collinsville.
He was third at the 5A state tournament in 2012, second in 2013 and claimed the title in 2014.
Jacobe Smith was NEO’s first two-time national champ.
Now a redshirt junior at Oklahoma State, Smith won the 174-pound title in 2015, and then did it again in ’16.
“This is a very unique opportunity for sure,” said NEO coach Joe Renfro. “I know he’s a little nervous, but he should be fine.”
Jordan takes the first step towards repeating Friday morning when he faces Elijah Hollis of Rochester (Minnesota) Community and Technical College.
“I have really been happy with the way the season has gone,” said Jordan, who originally was going to attend Rogers State University. “I just want to finish it up this weekend and let everything take care of itself.”
Jordan enters the tournament with a 29-1 dual record, the lone setback a 10-4 decision against Dayton Racer of Clackamas (Oregon) Community College in the finals of the NWCA Multi-Divisional National Duals last month in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
He was 39-9 as a freshman, beating Dillon Ulrey of Clackamas 6-2 in the 165-pound final.
Ulrey also is back, pulling down the No. 3 seed at 165.
“My mindset coming in, sure I was wanting to make the team, but my goal the whole time has been to come out and do what I can: dominate, kinda assert myself,” Jordan said.
Payne Hatter started NEO’s individual championship roll in 2014.
Dawaylon Barnes and Blake Andrews — brother of current Norse heavyweight Brian Andrews — also were winners in 2016.
“We’ve got a solid team and everyone’s been working hard,” Jordan said.
Northeastern A&M enters the national tournament ranked No. 1 and Jordan is one of six Norsemen who enter the competition seeded.