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|PREVIEW: Central Florida sees to repeat as NCWA Champions at Grand Rapids, Mich., March 3-4|
By Jim Heath NCWA Sports Information
Finishing up its ninth season the National Collegiate Wrestling Association will hold this weekend's Collegiate Wrestling Championships at the Grand Rapids DeltaPlex; several schools are bringing fully loaded teams to Michigan in search of the national title.
After the recent conference championships, many of the old faces stood tall, but some new teams have the potential to spring a few surprises starting Friday morning.
Southeastern Conference Tournament
The tournament held in Gainesville, Florida was a battle between two Florida rivals as Pensacola Christian College took home the crown over defending NCWA National Champion University of Central Florida. PCC took home four individual crowns, while UCF managed two. Pensacola Christian also sported top three finish's in nine of the 11 weight classes, the Golden Knights had top three finishers in nine weight classes as well. These teams battled throughout the year and should be among the top five in the upcoming tournament.
The Apprentice School continued its stranglehold on the MAC Conference crown winning it for the third straight year with first-year program UNC Pembroke coming in a distant second. Apprentice School had four individual champions and three seconds, while Virginia Tech took home three crowns and UNC Pembroke had two champions with four seconds.
The University of New Hampshire Wildcats strolled into the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania and came away with the Northeast Conference crown held in Easton, Pa. UNH only recorded two individual champions, two seconds and two third places, but had enough depth to amass 204.5 points for the team championship over Northampton Community College with 188.5. Northampton took home three individual champions, a second place and two third place finishes.
Fort Worth, Texas was the site for the Southwest Conference Tournament which turned into a Colorado State University runaway with 130.5 points with Kansas State next with 91 points and University of Colorado in third with 89. With eight in the top three and only Larry Todd winning a weight class at 149 pounds, the Rams used superior depth to take home the conference crown. Kansas State did take home four individual titles, while Tarrant County Community College provided two individual champions.
North Central Conference
Grand Valley State University, The favorite in this years National Championships, cruised to the NCC crown at the University of Toledo with 241.5 points. Miami University came in second with 106 points, while tournament host Toledo was third with 87.5 points. The Lakers ran away with eight individual titles and eight conference runnerups. They were involved in all 11 finals, with five of those finals pitting Laker wrestlers against each other. Miami University (Brad White - 149), University of Milwaukee (Adam Pearson -235) and University of Cincinnati (Jesse Black - 285) were the only schools to stop a GVSU sweep of conference titles.
This Friday starts the ninth NCWA National Championships at the Grand Valley DeltaPlex. The tournament starts at 9 a.m. and will be available to be seen live on the internet at www.ncwa.net. Beginning at 8:45 est
2006 NCWA National Championship Schedule
Friday, March 3
9:00 - 11:00 Round #1 Championship
11:15 - 3:00 Round #2 - Championship/Consolation
3:30 - 6:00 Round #3 Consolation
6:30 - 10:00 Round #4 - Championship Quarter Finals/Consolation
Saturday, March 4
9:00 - 11:00 Round #5 - Consolation
11:15 - 1:30 Round #6 - Championship Semi-Finals/Consolation
1:45 - 3:00 Round #7 - Consolation Semi-Finals
4:00 - 7:00 Round #8 - Finals - 3 Mats - Awards Presentations
8:00 - 10:00 Banquet of Champions - Noto's Italian Villa - Advance Tickets required