LEBANON, Tenn. – Cumberland University’s Jake Williams won his second national title at 149 in extra time while Scott Stewart lost in the championship match at heavyweight in the final session of the 58th Annual NAIA Wrestling Championships on Saturday night in Topeka, Kan.
Williams fell behind twice in the match by two points to Missouri Valley College’s top-ranked Jake Ekster, but his takedown early in the third period put the Rio Rancho, N.M., native ahead, 5-4. Ekster knotted the bout at five with an escape with about a minute to go in the final period. Williams was awarded a takedown late in the third period, but that was waved off after a discussion between the two officials.
The match went to sudden victory and Williams finished off his second straight national title with a takedown and then a near fall in the final 30 seconds of that period, taking a 10-5 Decision. He becomes the first two-time national champion in Cumberland history and earns the program fourth overall national title.
Stewart got the first point of the heavyweight championship bout against Missouri Valley’s fourth-ranked Gabi Musallam with an escape to start the second period, but Musallam quickly gained the lead with a takedown. Stewart knotted the score again with an escape later in the period, but Musallam’s escape in the opening seconds of the final period proved to be the winning point.
Stewart angled for a takedown for most of the third period but was never able to fully gain control of the very large Musallam, dropping the 3-2 Decision.
Full results from the 58th Annual NAIA Wrestling Championships may be found at www.trackwrestling.com.