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Three Teams with High Expectations



The chase for the Division II wrestling title really comes down to three teams. Two teams North Dakota State has 10 and Central Oklahoma have 9 qualifiers. Nebraska-Omaha has seven. Each school looks to advance as many weights forward in championship round starting at 11:00 a.m. Coach Mike Denney of UNO feels that in order for his team to stay in the title chase he really needs to have all 7 athletes performing well from the beginning. According to Denney, "With not having 10 qualifiers, our margin for error is pretty slim. We can't afford to lose too much too early." One of the big tests for UNO and a benchmark for their weekend may come first round at 184 pounds, where Scott Antoniak a senior with a 25-8 draw is seeded #4. "Antoniak has a tough draw, he's facing a regional champ, he's beat him once before but it was a real close match." Antoniak's opponent is Matt Tyrell from Findlay College, holding a 29-10 record as a junior. Coach Bucky Maughn brings the returning National Championship team into Greeley this weekend with high expectations. "We want to repeat as champions, but we bring a different team here than last year. Last year, we were more of a star-studded group, this year we're more balanced but might not have those big placers." The key for NDSU to make their move might be in the wrestle-backs on Friday night. The Bison have three freshman facing #1 or #2 seeds, so wrestlers fighting back into the tournament might be critical. The Bisons have two tough at 165 Grady Wolf faces the #4 seed Lantz Schwabenbauer from Gannon. Also, Matt Strawser at 125 pounds faces a tough Adam Mars of Adams State. Central Oklahoma with its 9 qualifiers is trying to improve on its runnerup status from a year ago. Head Coach David James, "We think there are five teams who can win it; we have a good core of 5 returning qualifiers and 3 place winners with our defending champion Mark Dodgen starting us off." With four first time qualifiers for the Bronchos they may have a strong start to the title.
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