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Notre Dame College holds off California Baptist to win NCWA Championship
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Notre Dame College came away with three national champions and 11 All-Americans, and that success in the finals rounds compounded its impressive start as the Falcons won the National Collegiate Wrestling Association championship Saturday.

Notre Dame racked up 168 points, leading from start to finish of the three-day tournament, and withstood final-day charges by runner-up California Baptist (161 points) and Liberty (150.5) to take the title. The Falcons got national title winners in Cody Shivener (149 pounds), Ashtin Primus (157) and Jonathan Bittinger (174) to sweep their finals appearances.

The Falcons’ success isn’t a surprise to most. They won the NAIA national championship in the two seasons prior to joining the NCWA this year. The NDC wrestlers flashed ‘3’ on their fingers while taking their championship photos, representing a three-peat of sorts. But it took the rest of the Falcons’ All-Americans – they scored one in every weight class but two – to clinch the title past former NAIA foe California Baptist and Liberty, which gave chase throughout.

Mike Smilek (3rd at 174 pounds), Maurice Miller (4th at 141), Daniel Demick (4th at 285), Austin Sanders (5th at 141), Tony Burge (6th at 165), Charles Mason (6th at 184), Louden Gordon (7th at 149), Paul Rose (8th at 133) and Justin Schafrath (8th at 235) made sure Notre Dame’s cushion never faltered, even when California Baptist moved to within two points before Saturday’s finals matches. Clutch points earned with wins in the consolation rounds boosted NDC back into control.

The Falcons gained control of the tournament early on when it scored 26 bonus points by recording 13 pins as a team in the first two rounds and having 16 of their 17 qualifiers still alive going into the second day.

Notre Dame will transition into NCAA Division II membership next year.
Liberty (five) and California Baptist (four) actually had more national finalists than NDC, but couldn’t find an edge against its consistent success. CBU, trailing by two points, was poised to make a run with its three finalists among the first four matches Saturday.

Jimmy Martinez took a 5-4 win over MIT’s Sam Shames for the 125 title, but Alex Anunciation had to settle for second at 133. At 149, the Lancers could have taken another chunk out of NDC’s lead, but the Falcons’ Shivener topped CBU’s Dylan Cataline in the final, 7-3.

The 149 title match was one of only two that paired NDC, CBU or Liberty wrestlers against each other. The other was CBU’s Zach Merrill’s 5-4 win over Liberty’s Andrew Wilson at heavyweight. Besides its four finalists, CBU’s other All-Americans were Preston Brown (4th at 165), Bradford Gerl (6th at 141).

Liberty wrestlers were 2-4 in finals matches, which included a 197-pound title match between teammates as Aaron Thompson beat Nick Knowles, 6-3. The pair also placed 1-2 at the North Central Conference Championships two weeks ago.

Scott Clymer’s 19-2 tech fall in the 141 final put Liberty in scoring range of the title if NDC was to collapse in its middle weights. But title-match losses at 165 and 184 halted the charge, and the Flames settled for All-American finishes from Bobby Clymer (2nd at 165), Royal Brettrager (2nd at 184) and Wilson (2nd at 285).

In the Division II race, Wichita State used two All-American finishes within its eight qualifiers to win its first national title with 57.5 points, good for 14th overall. Aaron Hynick took third at 165 pounds with a 5-3 win over CBU’s Brown, and Pat Mosley was fourth at 157.
Wichita State coach Paul Myers won the association’s Coach of the Year Award.

Mathew Miller earned the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler award after taking the 184 title with a 2:03 pin over Brettrager. Miller, a freshman at the U.S. Air Force Academy Prep School, won three of his five matches by fall.

In the NCWWA women’s division, Southwest Oregon Community College parlayed three champions in the middle weights into enough points to run away with the women’s division title. Biridiana Mendoza started the run with the 130 title, followed by Hannah Moon at 139 and Caroline Crawford at 148. SOCC also had All-Americans in Shay Workman at 121 and Hannah Francis at 176.

The women’s MOW was Erica Poe of Lindenwood-Belleville, who pinned her way through four matches and the 121 title. The NCWWA Coach of the Year from Rob Redman of San Jose State.

Here are the final standings and championship results from the 2012 NCWA Championships. Further details from the tournament will appear in follow-up stories through the upcoming week.

Division I Programs

1. Notre Dame College (Ohio) 168
2. California Baptist 161
3. Liberty 150.5
4. Lindenwood-St. Charles (Mo.) 114
5. Simon Fraser (B.C.) 102.5
6. U.S. Naval Academy Prep 89.5
7. Southern Illinois-Edwardsville 87
8. Central Florida 79.5
9. McKendree 69.5
10. Lindenwood-Belleville 68
11. The Apprentice School (Va.) 61
12. Maryland-Baltimore County 59
13. Massachusetts Inst. of Tech. 58.5
14. Marion Military Inst. (Ala.) 51
15. West Chester 48.5
16. Mercer 43
17. Penn College of Technology 42.5
18t. U.S. Air Force Academy Prep 38
18t. Grand Valley State 38
20. New Hampshire 36
21. Middle Tennessee State 28
22. St. Andrew’s (N.C.) 27
23. Penn State-DuBois 20.5
24. Blair Academy (N.J.) 20
25. Georgia Southern 19.5
26. Minot State (N.D.) 19
27. Carroll (Wis.) 16.5
28. Southern Virginia 13.5
29. East Tennessee State 10
30. Wayne State (Neb.) 6
31. Colorado State 5
32. West Virginia Tech 4
33. Douglas College (B.C.) 2
Did not score: Connecticut, Minnesota-Duluth, San Jose State, Williamson Sch. of Mech. Trades.

Division II Emerging Programs
1. Wichita State 57.5
2. Northwest Missouri State 27
3t. Georgia 26
3t. South Carolina 26
5t. Northeastern 19
5t. Rutgers 19
7. Central Washington 18
8. Amherst 16
9. Florida Gulf Coast 14
10t. Tallahassee CC (Fla.) 11
10t. Utah State 11
12. Texas 10
13. Auburn 9.5
14. Illinois State 9
15t. Florida 8
15t. North Florida 8
17t. Iowa State 7
17t. Massachusetts 7
18t. Bridgewater (Va.) 6
18t. Colorado 6
18t. Lafayette 6
18t. Michigan 6
18t. Slippery Rock 6
24. Cincinnati 5
25t. Bowling Green 4
25t. Washington County CC (Maine) 4
27t. Hudson Valley CC (N.Y.) 3
27t. Vermont 3
29t. Kansas State 2
29t. Rensselaer Polytechnic. Inst. 2
29t. Texas-Arlington 2
29t. Texas-San Antonio 2
33. Sacramento State 1
Did not score: Florida A&M, Kennesaw State (Ga.), Saginaw Valley State (Mich.), South Florida, Texas A&M, Toledo, Virginia Military Inst., William and Mary, Winona State (Minn.)

125 lbs. – Jimmy Martinez, California Baptist, def. Sam Shames, Mass. Inst. of Tech., 5-4
133 lbs. – Brendan Murphy, SIU-Edwardsville, def. Alex Anunciation, California Baptist, 4-3
141 lbs. – Scott Clymer, Liberty, def. Craig Chiles, Lindenwood-St. Charles, 19-2
149 lbs. – Cody Shivener, Notre Dame, def. Dylan Cataline, California Baptist
157 lbs. – Ashtin Primus, Notre Dame, def. Santiago Martinez, Central Florida, 4-1
165 lbs. – Clayton MacFarlane, Lindenwood-St. Charles, def. Bobby Clymer, Liberty, 9-0
174 lbs. – Jonathan Bittinger, Notre Dame, def. Deshoun White, SIU-Edwardsville, 6-3
184 lbs. – Mathew Miller, U.S. Naval Academy Prep, def. Royal Brettrager, Liberty, by fall 2:03
197 lbs. – Aaron Thompson, Liberty, def. Nick Knowles, Liberty, 6-3
235 lbs. – Dustin Fullerton, Lindenwood-Belleville, def. Josh Woods, Central Florida, by fall 4:26
285 lbs. – Zach Merrill, California Baptist, def. Andrew Wilson, Liberty, 5-4
Most Outstanding Wrestler: Mathew Miller, U.S. Naval Academy Prep School
Coach of the Year: Paul Myers, Wichita State

(women’s division)

1. Southwest Oregon Community College 83.5
2. Pacific Univ. (Ore.) 61.5
3. Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) 42.5
4. Central Washington 28.5
5. Middle Tennessee State 23
6. San Jose State 20.5
7. East Tennessee State 20
8. South Florida 16.5
9. Winona State (Minn.) 15
10. North Florida 14
11. Mercer 10
12. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology 9
13t. Carroll Univ. (Wis.) 7
13t. New Hampshire 7
15. Kansas State 6.5
16. Massachusetts 6
17. Bowling Green 2.5
Did not score: Colorado.

105 lbs. – Jordyn Lee, Pacific, def. Megan Chum, Pacific, by fall 1:42
112 lbs. – Andrina Ramos, Pacific, def. Ashley Rodriguez, North Florida, by fall 2:51
121 lbs. – Eric Poe, Lindenwood-Belleville, def. Kelli Rasmussen, Winona State, 7-4
130 lbs. – Biridiana Mendoza, SW Oregon CC, def. Rustee-Ann Johansen, Pacific, 15-3
139 lbs. – Hannah Moon, SW Oregon CC, def. Cindy Kuang, San Jose State, 8-1
148 lbs. – Caroline Crawford, SW Oregon CC, def. Ada Hagan, East Tennessee State, by fall 2:24
159 lbs. – Christina Ordonez, Central Washington, def. Morgan Pittsford, East Tennessee State, by fall 6:13
176 lbs. – Mei Ling Keiki, Lindenwood-Belleville, def. Jasmine Grant, South Florida, 19-3
209 lbs. – Dana Tatum, Middle Tennessee State, def. Cymone Jenkins, Mercer, by fall 2:45.
Most Outstanding Wrester: Erica Poe, Lindenwood-Belleville
Coach of the Year: Rob Redman, San Jose State
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