LEBANON, Tenn. – Freshman Nathan Walton and junior John Olivieri each finished second while sophomore Keshawn Laws and junior Anthony Maia were both fourth for Cumberland wrestling at the Mid-South Conference Championships on Saturday in Bowling Green, Ky.
The announcement for qualifiers and wild cards will take place late Tuesday for the 62nd Annual NAIA Championships set for March 1-2 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Walton, ranked second nationally, received two byes at 174 in a bracket that included just six wrestlers. The Brownsburg, Ind., native posted a 16-0 Tech Fall at 5:11 against 19th-ranked Jarod Swank from the University of the Cumberlands in the semifinals before dropping a 16-6 Major Decision to Life University’s third-ranked Lucius Van Rensburg in the finals, ending Walton’s 14-match winning streak which included a victory against Van Rensburg on February 6.
Olivieri, ranked 13th in the country, earned one bye at 184 before pinning Midway University’s Isaiah McDougal at 2:46. The Murfreesboro, Tenn., native squeaked out a 4-2 Decision at TB-1 versus Southeastern University’s 10th-ranked Jason Davis in the semifinals before dropping a 5-2 Decision to Brewton-Parker’s 12th-ranked Brooks Climmons in the finals.
Laws, ranked 17th nationally, dropped his first bout at 141 by Fall to Trey Walton from the University of the Cumberlands but rebounded with three straight victories. The Queens, N.Y., native posted a 13-2 Major Decision against Brewton-Parker’s James Stoudenmire and a 10-6 Decision versus Midway’s Michael Jo Harris before claiming a 3-2 Decision over teammate and senior Alema Favors.
Laws lost a 3-1 Decision to Campbellsville University’s 10th-ranked Jaedin Sklapsky in the third-place match but finished fourth by RULE in another bout with Favors.
Favors won his first two outings at 141, a 12-2 Major Decision against Stoudenmire and a 5-4 Decision over Campbellsville’s Aaron Rugnao. The Stone Mountain, Ga., native lost by Injury at 1:43 to Lindsey Wilson’s fifth-ranked Trent Johnson but registered a 9-4 Decision versus Walton from the Cumberlands before the final bout with Laws.
Maia received one bye at 149 and collected an 11-8 Decision against Life University’s Mason Calvert before losing by Fall at 3:23 to top-ranked Tres Leon from the University of the Cumberlands. The Palm Coast, Fla., native picked up a 12-2 Decision versus Brewton-Parker’s Dean Esquibel before dropping a 5-4 Decision to Calvert in the third-place match.
Redshirt freshman Austin Plumlee lost by Fall at 4:13 to Lindsey Wilson’s 11th-ranked Brady Moser at 133 but came back with a 16-0 Tech Fall at 3:50 against Midway’s Dymond Smith. The Lebanon, Tenn., native then lost by Fall at 6:35 to ninth-ranked Jacob Seto from the University of the Cumberlands.
Sophomore Matthew Sells won his first bout at 165, an 11-0 Major Decision versus Brewton-Parker’s Douglas Peppers, but lost by Fall at 1:59 to Lindsey Wilson’s sixth-ranked Brett Bradford and then dropped a 1-0 Decision to Southeastern’s Stephen Kelle.
Freshman Nawin Hyers lost by Fall at 1:08 to Brewton-Parker’s sixth-ranked David Hamil in his first outing but rebounded with a 12-4 Decision over Brewton-Parker’s Kelton Wilmon. The Waycross, Ga., native lost by Fall at 3:33 to David Richardson from the University of the Cumberlands.
Freshman Grayson Walthall dropped a 13-4 Major Decision to Lindsey Wilson’s top-ranked Brandon Reed with his first bout but pinned Midway’s Kevin Ixpanel at 45 seconds. The Memphis, Tenn., native then lost a 7-6 Decision to Ashton Mutawa from the University of the Cumberlands.