LEBANON, Tenn. – Juniors Jake Williams and Cody Linton each won a pair of matches, reaching the semifinals in their respective weight classes and leading six Cumberland grapplers at the 57th Annual NAIA Championships on Friday at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka, Kan. As a team the Bulldogs are currently in seventh place with 37.0 points.
Williams, ranked second nationally and the No. 1 seed in the 149 bracket, posted a Tech Fall, 18-2, at 6:44 over Concordia [NE] University’s 13th-ranked Enrique Barajas in the Round of 16 and pinned Southern Oregon’s 12th-ranked Tyler Cowger at 4:46 in the quarterfinals. The Rio Rancho, N.M., native will face Morningside University’s fifth-ranked Tyler Lashbrook at 10 a.m. on Saturday with the finals at 7 p.m. tomorrow night.
Linton, also ranked second in the country and the No. 2 seed at 184, won a 10-2 Major Decision over Oklahoma City’s 11th-ranked Cody Sivertsen in the Round of 16 and pinned Morningside’s third-ranked Joseph Sievert at 4:54 in the quarterfinals. The Winters, Calif., native takes on Life University’s fifth-ranked Trey Hicks, an opponent Linton defeated two weeks ago in the NAIA East Region Qualifier.
Senior Zeke Hunt, ranked No. 5 and the top seed at 174, started the day with a 10-4 Decision over Missouri Valley’s Riley Boomer in the Round of 16 but dropped a 3-1 Decision to Montana State-Northern’s fourth-ranked Jared Miller in the quarterfinals. The Dacula, Ga., native will take on Briar Cliff’s seventh-ranked Anthony Pike in the wrestleback.
Senior Jacob Shirley pinned Hannibal-LaGrange’s 15th-ranked Grant Godfrey at 1:49 in the Round of 32 at 165 but lost by Fall at 0:27 to Dakota Wesleyan’s fourth-ranked Trevor Devestern in the Round of 16 in the first session on Friday. The Harrison, Ohio, native dropped a 9-7 Decision in Sudden Victory to Brock Picard from the University of Great Falls in the backdraw.
Freshman Kyle Delaune lost his first match on Friday at 174, a 9-5 Decision to Embry-Riddle’s 15th-rarnked Jose Cruz III and then dropped a 10-5 Decision in Sudden Victory to William Penn’s Ishmael Rempson in the wrestleback.
Junior Scott Stewart posted a 5-3 win in Sudden Victory in his opening match over Grand View’s 10th-ranked AJ Mott at 197 before losing a 6-2 Decision to Dickinson State’s fourth-ranked Jesse Hellinger. The Kenova, W.Va., native won twice in the backdraw – an 8-5 Decision over Missouri Baptist’s Lucas Keene and a 9-4 Decision versus Life University’s 10th-ranked Jacob Dempsey – before losing a 9-1 Decision to Eric Johnson from Calumet College of St. Joseph.
Complete results from the event may be found at www.naia.org.