Vikings News
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Photo Credit: Doug Wells
Wrestling - Sun, Mar. 5, 2017

Courtesy of NAIA -By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information

TOPEKA, Kan. – (Team ScoresBrackets) It happened again. Grand View rewrote the record book by winning its sixth-straight team title and set a new scoring record of 234.5 points Saturday night in the final session of the 2017 NAIA Wrestling National Championships, presented by USA Wrestling-Kansas.

The Vikings, which realistically locked down the team championship by the end of the first day, are the first team in NAIA Wrestling history to win six-consecutive national titles. Additionally, the Vikings are only the fourth program in collegiate wrestling history (NAIA, NJCAA, NCAA). The other programs to do so are NCAA Division I Iowa (six-straight (1995-2000) and nine-straight (1978-1986)), NCAA Division I Oklahoma State (seven-straight (1937-1949)) and NCAA Division II Cal Poly (seven-straight (1968-1974)).

"This is a really tight nit group," said Grand View head coach Nick Mitchell. "Every year you have to have a close knit group – a bunch of guys that really care for each other – and I think this team had that at another level this year. These guys really looked out for each other, pushed each other. It's something that can't be overlooked."

Grand View set a new team scoring standard shattered last season's mark of 210.0. The club has now either tied or set a new scoring record in three out of the last four years.

Five of Grand View's six grapplers in the finals walked away as national champions, ties the record for most in program history. Jacob Colon (SR/Clear Lake, Iowa) highlighted at 133 pounds. The senior from Clear Lake, Iowa, claimed a major decision (12-1) victory over No. 2 Mitch Pawlak of Indiana Tech to earn a second-straight individual title.

"He (Colon) is one of those guys that's a prime example of how to do everything," said Mitchell. "Jacob does a great job in school, he does a great job off the mats and he's a huge leader for us."

Grand View's four other national champions were Josh Wenger (FR/Walford, Iowa) at 141 pounds, Grant Henderson at 165 pounds, Lawton Benna (SO/Wentzville, Missouri) at 174 pounds and Evan Hansen (FR/Kimballton, Iowa) at 197 pounds. Benna and Henderson both improved upon second-place finishes a season ago, while Wenger and Hansen were competing at the national championships for the first time.

In total, the five title winners gives Grand View 29 national champions in the club's nine-year history and 72 All-Americans, including all 12 earning the All-American status this year. Grand View is only the second program to have all 12 earn All-American status. 

Individual Finishes

133 - Jacob Colon, four-time All-American, earned his national title. He had three pins on the tournament, including a stick of No. 4 David Berg of Midland (Neb.) in the semifinals. Colon faced four-time All-American Mitch Pawlak of Indiana Tech in the 133-pound title match where ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­her won by major decision (12-1).

141 - No.2 seed Josh Wenger won his first national title. He won by major decision (15-7) No. 12 Dillon Kifer of Jamestown in the championship match.

149 - No.3 Walker Marshall (SR/Missouri Valley, Iowa) fell to No. 1 Scottie Bonds of Midland in the championship match. He finished national runner-up.

165 - No. 1 Grant Henderson (JR/Alburnett, Iowa) topped his runner-up performance last year, capturing the national title in the 165 weight class. He won by decision (4-2) over No. 6 Blake Cooper of Warner Pacific (Ore.).

165 - No.3 Ryan Niven (JR/Boston, Massachusetts) finished the season with a 27-5 record, 6-1 in the tournament, and placed 3rd in the tournament with a final victory over No. 11 Anthony Orozco of Benedictine (Kan.).

174 - Undefeated No. 1 Lawton Benna kept a perfect season with the defeat of No.7 Rhodes Bell of Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and claiming the national title at 174 pounds.  

174 - No. 2 Dylan Blackford (JR/Des Moines, Iowa) went 4-2 in the tournament and placed 5th, defeating No.11 Justin Brown of Campbellsville (Ky.) in the third place match (Dec 6-3).

184- No. 4 Michael Pixley (JR/Granite City, Illinois) placed 3rd, going 5-1 in the tournament. In his final match, Pixley won by fall over No. 9 Joshua Chiles of Williams Baptist (Ark.) (Fall 6:22) ending the season with a 27-3 overall record.

197 - No. 3 Evan Hansen claimed his first national title after upsetting No. 1 Dalton Bailey of Life (Ga.)) by decision (9-7).

197 - No. 4 John Dennis's placed 3rd at 197 pounds with an overall season record of 35-10 and tournament record of 6-1. Dennis won by decision over Jeremiah Gerl Hastings (Neb.) (Dec 1-0) in the 3rd place match.

285 - No. 2, Jacob Laden's placed 3rd going 4-1 in the tournament.  In the 3rd place match won by decision over No.7 Austin Lobsinger  of Simpson (Calif.)(Dec 3-2), ending his season with an overall record of 29-5.

285 - No.1 Dean Broghammer (JR/Manchester, Iowa) placed 5th, ending the season with a 25-6 record. Broghammer went 3-2 in the tournament, defeating No.10 Justin Smith of Missouri Valley) by major decision (MD 16-6).

For more information on the NAIA Wrestling National Championships, click here.