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Led by three champions, Grand View returns as NAIA champions, with 2021 champion Life taking second

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

2022 NAIA National Champion Grand View University. Photo courtesy of Grand View Athletics.


PARK CITY, Kansas – Grand View won nine straight NAIA titles, until they placed second in 2021. Just one year later, Grand View is the NAIA wrestling champion once again, making it an amazing 10 titles in 11 years.


Led by individual champions No. 1 seed Esco Walker (125), No. 4 seed Israel Casarez (157) and No. 2 seed Casey Randles (174), Grand View finished with 206.5 points, a full 57.5 points ahead of runner-up Life, which had 149 points.


Grand View also had three runners-up, No. 3 Marty Margolis (165), No. 1 Ben Lee (184) and No. 1 seed Greg Hagan (286). Grand View put 11 athletes on the podiums as All-Americans.


Walker defeated No. 2 seed and returning NAIA national champion Brandon Orum in the finals, 4-3.


Life finished with two champions, No. 2 seed Denver Stonecheck (149) and No. 3 seed Zane Lanham (197), plus two runners-up, Orum and No. 3 seed Jack Bass (157).


Lanham pinned No. 1 seed and returning NAIA champion Isaac Bartel of Montana State-Northern in the finals, in 6:17.


Five returning NAIA champions reached the finals, but only three were able to repeat: No. 3 seed Conner Gimson of Indiana Tech (133), No. 1 seed Baterdene Boldmaa of Doane (141) and No. 2 seed Eric Vermillion of Indiana Tech (184).


Gimsom beat No. 6 Jacob Seto of Embry-Riddle in the finals, 3-1. Boldmaa stopped No. 11 Martin Wilkie of Montana State-Northern in the finals, 14-7. Vermillion defeated Grand View’s Lee for the title, 3-1.


Other individual champions were No. 1 seed Cole Smith of Cumberland (165) and No. 7 seed Gage Braun of Southeastern (285).

NAIA NATIONALS

at Park City, Kansas


125

1st Place Match - 1 Esco Walker (Grand View) won by decision over 2 Brandon Orum (Life) (Dec 4-3)

3rd Place Match - 3 Justin Portillo (Grand View) won by tech fall over 12 Koby Milner (Reinhardt) (TF 17-0)

5th Place Match - 5 Isaac Crowell (Southeastern) won by major decision over 4 Daniel Vargas (Doane) (Maj 21-7)

7th Place Match - 6 Dennis McNeal (Brewton-Parker) won by forfeit over 9 Carter Cox (Cumberland) (FF)


133

1st Place Match - 1 Connor Gimson (Indiana Tech) won by decision over 6 Jacob Seto (Embry-Riddle) (Dec 3-1)

3rd Place Match - 4 Carson Taylor (Grand View) won by decision over Joseph Lupton (Graceland) (Dec 8-2)

5th Place Match - 7 Jacob Mendoza (Menlo) won by decision over Evan Potter (Southern Oregon) (Dec 5-1)

7th Place Match - 5 Jacob Ruiz (Life) won by decision over 8 Keshawn Laws (Cumberland) (Dec 1-0)


141

1st Place Match - 1 Baterdene Boldmaa (Doane) won by decision over 11 Martin Wilkie (Montana State-Northern) (Dec 14-7)

3rd Place Match - 3 Shea Ruffridge (Grand View) won by decision over Cade Manion (Oklahoma City) (Dec 4-3)

5th Place Match - 9 Julian Hernandez (Life) won in tie breaker - 1 over 5 Bryce Nickel (Cumberlands) (TB-1 2-1)

7th Place Match - 2 Nick Henneman (Lourdes) won by decision over 10 Kyle Kantola (Indiana Tech) (Dec 2-1)


149

1st Place Match - 2 Denver Stonecheck (Life) won by major decision over 8 Ryan Moore (Thomas More (Ky.)) (Maj 9-1)

3rd Place Match - 3 Brevin Balmeceda (Life) won by decision over 5 Andreus Bond (Southeastern) (Dec 2-0)

5th Place Match - 10 Salvador Silva (Southeastern) won by forfeit over 4 Elijah Palacio (Menlo) (FF)

7th Place Match - 7 Keegan Luton (Oklahoma City) won by decision over Steven Weathers Ii (Missouri Baptist) (Dec 9-2)


157

1st Place Match - 4 Israel Casarez (Grand View) won in sudden victory - 1 over 3 Jack Bass (Life) (SV-1 3-1)

3rd Place Match - 2 Wilder Wichman (Thomas More (Ky.)) won by decision over 7 Derrick Smallwood (Lindsey Wilson) (Dec 3-2)

5th Place Match - Trevor Burdick (Reinhardt) won by major decision over 10 Aaron Gandara (Southern Oregon) (Maj 13-4)

7th Place Match - 11 James Williams (Embry-Riddle) won by fall over 6 Anthony Maia (Cumberland) (Fall 1:57)


165

1st Place Match - 1 Cole Smith (Cumberland) won by fall over 3 Marty Margolis (Grand View) (Fall 4:08)

3rd Place Match - 2 Sid Ohl (Life) won by decision over 7 Frederick Padilla (Vanguard) (Dec 5-1)

5th Place Match - 5 David Rubio (Corban) won by decision over 4 Elliott Rodgers (Marian) (Dec 7-3)

7th Place Match - Chase Short (Montana State-Northern) won by medical forfeit over Cody Dixon (Wayland Baptist) (MFF)


174

1st Place Match - 2 Casey Randles (Grand View) won by decision over 4 Trenton Munoz (Hastings) (Dec 4-2)

3rd Place Match - 3 Isaiah Luellen (Baker) won in sudden victory - 1 over 1 Joe Koontz (Lindsey Wilson) (SV-1 7-5)

5th Place Match - 10 NaKoda Siegel (Montana State-Northern) won by decision over 6 Cole Tenety (Reinhardt) (Dec 10-4)

7th Place Match - 9 Armon Fayyazi (Vanguard) won in sudden victory - 1 over 7 Stephen Kelle (Southeastern) (SV-1 3-1)


184

1st Place Match - 2 Eric Vermillion (Indiana Tech) won by decision over 1 Ben Lee (Grand View) (Dec 3-1)

3rd Place Match - 4 Sam Osho (Marian) won by decision over 3 Kyle Knudtson (Eastern Oregon) (Dec 15-14)

5th Place Match - 7 Jesse Daniel Perez (Ottawa) won by decision over 9 Niko Perovic (Williams Baptist) (Dec 7-4)

7th Place Match - 6 Blake Rypel (Southeastern) won by medical forfeit over 5 Lucas DeSilva (Brewton-Parker) (MFF)


197

1st Place Match - 3 Zane Lanham (Life) won by fall over 1 Isaac Bartel (Montana State-Northern) (Fall 6:17)

3rd Place Match - 2 Trevor Lawson (Lindsey Wilson) won by major decision over 7 Bradley Antesberger (Doane) (Maj 8-0)

5th Place Match - 5 Owen Braungardt (Grand View) won by decision over 10 Jack Servies (Marian) (Dec 6-2)

7th Place Match - 9 Daulton Mayer (Thomas More (Ky.)) won by decision over 11 Hunter DeJong (Morningside) (Dec 7-4)


285

1st Place Match - 7 Gage Braun (Southeastern) won by decision over 1 Greg Hagan (Grand View) (Dec 5-4)

3rd Place Match - 4 Aaron Johnson (Cumberlands) won in sudden victory - 1 over 2 Odgerel Batkhishig (Doane) (SV-1 2-1)

5th Place Match - 3 Tommy Mommer (Grand View) won by major decision over 5 Noel Orozco (Eastern Oregon) (Maj 9-0)

7th Place Match - 11 KC Buday (Providence) won by medical forfeit over 6 Joshua Isaac (Missouri Valley) (MFF)

Team Standings

1 Grand View, 206.5

2 Life, 149.0

3 Southeastern, 101.5

4 Indiana Tech, 72.0

5 Doane, 68.5

6 Montana State-Northern, 66.0

7 Reinhardt, 60.0

8 Cumberland,.5

9 Thomas More (Ky.), 50.0

10 Marian, 48.0

11 Lindsey Wilson, 47.0

12 Cumberlands, 39.5

13 Eastern Oregon, 36.0

14 Embry-Riddle, 33.0

15 Menlo, 32.5

16 Baker, 27.0

17 Oklahoma City, 26.0

18 Vanguard, 26.0

19 Southern Oregon, 23.5

20 Ottawa, 21.0
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