LEBANON, Tenn. – Sophomore Cody Linton outlasted Baker College’s Jarid Price in the third extra period, moving into the semifinals of the main draw at 184 for Cumberland at the 56th Annual NAIA Championships on Friday night in Des Moines, Iowa. Jake Williams and Zeke Hunt won matches in the wrestleback to assure three All-Americans for the Bulldogs, the most in one season in the history of the program.
Linton posted a 3-2 victory in the quarterfinal match that took nearly 10 minutes of wrestling time. The Winters, Calif., native will face Lindsey Wilson’s Jameel Bryant in the semifinals on Saturday. The two wrestled just two weeks ago in the NAIA East Qualifier, with Bryant claiming a 3-2 Decision.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, freshman Joe Gallegos was not as lucky in his overtime match against Menlo College’s Scott Brasil. Gallegos lost 4-1 in the third extra period, barely missing a chance to reach the semifinals in the main draw as well. The South Bend, Ind., native then dropped a 6-2 Decision to Missouri Valley’s James Alter, ending his day just short of a possible All-American honor.
Williams won a pair of matches in the wrestleback at 141, posting a 7-4 Decision over Life University’s Dillan Schouw and a 5-4 Decision against Campbellsville University’s Chris Teague and assuring himself of at least a sixth-place finish and a second straight All-America honor. The sophomore placed eighth at last year’s national championships while at Concordia [NE] University.
Hunt lost a tough 4-0 Decision against Wayland Baptist’s in the main draw quarterfinals but came back with a 6-5 Decision over Dickinson State’s Cameron Schrempp, also assuring at least a sixth-place showing.
Junior Steven Sandefer lost in his first match of the night session at 149, a 5-2 Decision to Baker College’s Nick Haugen. Sophomore Michael Gonzalez won an 8-4 Decision against Life’s Oliver Brukardt at 157 before losing by the same score to Montana State-Northern’s Edward Cheff.
Complete results from the tournament may be found at www.trackwrestling.com. Saturday’s morning session begins at 10 a.m. and the finals start at 7 p.m. Central Time that night.