Smith finishes Third and Shires took Fifth at NAIA National Championship
Saturday, March 4, 2023
Smith finishes Third and Shires took Fifth at NAIA National Championship
Cole Smith takes down Marty Margolis from Grand View to win third place. (Credit: JT Oldknow)

WICHITA, Kan.--Cole Smith placed third and Sammy Shires took fifth place during the All-American Rounds of the final day of the NAIA National Championship at Hartman Arena. 

Cole Smith started his day taking on a familiar opponent in the 10-seed Shadrick Slone from Campbellsville. Smith posted a quick first round pin to move on to face the No. 1 seed Jack Bass from Life after Bass was upset in the semifinals. Bass forfeited the match due to a medical forfeit setting up a rematch from last season’s NAIA National Championship match with 2-seed Marty Margolis from Grand View. This year’s rematch lacked the fireworks that last season’s championship match had as Smith picked up a point off a misconduct and rode out Margolis in the second and third round for a 2-0 win. This is his third Top-3 finish at Nationals in the last three years. 

Sammy Shires came out of the gate hot on day two picking up his third pin of the tournament over 6-seed Jovan Garcia from Menlo. Shires advanced to take on No. 4 Blake Mulkey from Marian. Mulkey handed Shires a 3-0 defeat to push Shires to the 5th place match against 8-seed Joe Lupton from Graceland. Shires proceeded to post his fourth fall of the tournament defeating Lupton in 1:32 to earn a fifth place finish. 

The finishes ends Cumberland’s 2022-23 campaign with two NAIA All-Americans. The Phoenix will be back on the mats in late fall.