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.