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Defending champ Grand View sends eight into semifinals to lead at NAIA Nationals



DES MOINES, Iowa - Grand View (Iowa) sent eight individuals into the semifinals and pushed its point total to 93 during the second session of the 2013 NAIA Wrestling National Championships Friday at the Jacobson Exhibition Center. The Vikings own a 10-point edge on Southern Oregon, who has 83 points and four semifinalists. Montana State-Northern is in third with 69.5 points, followed by Dickinson State (N.D.) in fourth with 53.0 points and Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) in fifth with 51.5 points.

In championship bracket action, nine wrestlers will make their second-consecutive trip to the national semifinals. Additionally, 18 returning All-Americans have secured the honor once again by advancing into the semifinals.

Southern Oregon's 125-pounder Mitchell Lofstedt extended his pin streak in the national championships to six-straight, dating back to 2012, with a 1:33 stick of Ethan Miller of Lindsey Wilson. Lofstedt, who is now 33-1 on the season, boasts 81 career pins, including 20 this season. Lofstedt is set to face off against Kidd Gomez of Oklahoma City. Gomez posted an 8-5 decision over 2012 national runner-up Kory Kistner of Morningside (Iowa).

Similarly to Lofstedt, defending 285-pound champion Eric Thompson of Grand View continued his dominance at the national championships with a 17-2 technical fall in 7:00 against Cumberlands' (Ky.) Vince Pezzuto. The victory is Thompson's NAIA-leading 41st of the season. Thompson has poured on the attack in his last two matches, posting 37 points. In two championship appearances, Thompson has five pins, two technical falls and one major decision in eight bouts.

All-American Ethan Hinebauch of Montana State-Northern picked up his NAIA-best 26th win by fall, with a 2:21 stick of Grand View's Dallas Houchins at 165 pounds. Hinebauch improved to 37-4 with the victory.

In total, 14 quarterfinal matches were bonus point wins with seven major decisions, three technical falls and four pins. Winning wrestlers outscored opponents 127-18, including a pair of shutouts.

The third session of the 56th annual event will start Saturday at 10 a.m. CST. Championship semifinals will be contested, along with two rounds of consolation bracket action.



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