GOODLAND, Kan. — Crowning six individual champions, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M captured its fifth straight NJCAA West/Central Qualifier title Saturday, Feb. 10, at the Max Jones Fieldhouse.
The Golden Norsemen, who finished with 209.5 points, qualified all 10 wrestlers for the NJCAA Wrestling Championship Feb. 23-24 in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
“We accomplished our true goal from the qualifier, all 10 advancing to the national tournament,” Norse coach Joe Renfro said. “We suffered a couple losses in the finals that would have different outcomes if we had another chance to wrestle again, but we’ll have to learn from our mistakes. A couple matches were closer than they should have been, but the finals have a way of deterring what is important.”
This was the fifth straight year NEO has won the tournament title and qualified all 10 wrestlers.
The Norsemen were national champs in 2014 and 2016.
Wyatt Jordan, the defending national champion at 165 pounds, headed up the list of NEO’s individual winners.
He pinned all four of his opponents: Tyren Castonguay of Cloud County (Kansas) Community College, Christian Fast of Neosho County (Kansas) Community College, Nick Lucas of Pratt (Kansas) Community College and Tsogtbayar Tserendagua of Northwest Kansas Technical College.
His win over Castonguay was in 39 seconds.
Also placing first were Cody Karstetter, 141; Kendon Lee, 149; Alex Kauffman, 184; Zeke Silva, 197, and heavyweight Brian Andrews.
Finishing as runners-up were Boo Dryden, 125; Jack Karstetter, 133; Zeke Rubio, 157, and Devin Crawl, 174.
Dryden suffered an 8-6 loss to Marcelino Lopez of Cowley (Kansas) Community College in the 125-pound final and Gage Gomez of Barton County (Kansas) Community College eked out an 8-7 decision over Jack Karstetter in the final at 133.
Lee won his title by technical fall, Cody Karstetter, Silva and Andrews logged decisions and Kauffman won by medical forfeit.
“What is important to us, is our performance, not winning or losing the match,” Renfro said. “It was a good weekend, but we still need to clean a few minor details up before the big show. I still don’t believe that was our best showing for the year and we’ll be looking to get better this next week.
“We need to relax, refocus, and regain our composure which is what we’re planning on doing.”
Following the Norse in the team standing were Barton County, 173.5; host Northwest Kansas was third at 129.0, followed by Cowley County, 102.5; Labette County (Kansas) Community College. 102.0; Cloud County, 82; Colby County (Kansas) Community College, 69.0; Pratt, 68.0; Neosho County, 56.5, and Arkansas Baptist, 14.5.