D2 Wrestling – UNO Repeats as Champions!
The top-ranked University of Nebraska at Omaha wrestling team collected its second straight national team title and crowned one individual national champion in front of a home crowd at the 2010 NCAA Championships inside Sapp Fieldhouse Saturday night. The Mavericks scored 131 points, 59 points ahead of runnerup Augustana College, to record the school’s sixth NCAA Division II team title.
It’s UNO’s fifth title in the last seven years. The win gives UNO NCAA II wrestling titles in 1991, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010. The Mavericks also won the 1970 NAIA tournament championship.
Elijah Madison became UNO’s second freshman to win a national title in school history. The second-ranked Madison battled top-ranked Brady Wilson in the final match of the evening, and it was a good one. Wilson, who had beat Madison twice this season by one point, was also looking to become a first-time national champion. The two heavyweights went scoreless in the first period. The second period proved to be the deciding factor for the redshirt freshman, as he was able to get on top and ride Wilson for most of the second period to build up his riding time advantage to nearly two minutes after two periods of action. The two stayed at the neutral position for most of the third period until Wilson nearly scored a takedown with a minute left in the match, but Madison was able to push him off before he earned his two points. Madison’s riding time gave him the only point scored in the match to earn the 1-0 win and claim UNO’s only individual national title of the tournament. Les Sigman, also a 285-pounder, is the only other UNO freshman to win a national title.
Cody Garcia started the night for UNO, squaring off against top-ranked Shane Valko of Pittsburgh-Johnstown, looking to cap off an undefeated senior season. Garcia scored the first points of the match, scoring a takedown as time expired in the first period to take a 2-0 lead. Valko escaped at 1:21 in the second period, followed by a takedown and nearfall to go up 5-2 heading into the third period. Garcia managed an escape in the third, but Valko was able to ride Garcia for most of the third period to compile over a minute of riding time for an extra point to win the match 6-3. Garcia finishes the season with a 48-1 record, which is the second most wins in school history in a single season by a UNO wrestler. The four-time All-American ends his career at UNO with a 147-18 record, good enough for fourth on UNO’s all-time career wins list.
At 141, Mario Morgan was looking for his first individual national crown of his career against Augustana’s Jay Sherer. The two were locked at 1-1 when the clock hit zero in the third period. Both men battled hard in the extra period, but Sherer scored a takedown as time expired to earn the 3-1 win in sudden victory. The loss snapped Morgan’s 29 match wining streak – he hadn’t lost since Dec. 5, 2009. Morgan caps off a great season, finishing with a 40-4 record and his second All-American accolades.
Esai Dominguez battled top-ranked Craig Becker of Wisconsin-Parkside at 149. Becker scored on two takedowns to earn the 4-3 victory. Dominguez has now placed third and runnerup in his two National Tournament appearances, and finished the season with a 31-12 record
Redshirt freshman George Ivanov faced Jonathan Jackson of Anderson University in the 157 pound bout. Jackson collected the 3-1 win by decision. Ivanov finished the season with a 36-11 record while earning All-American status in his first season.
UNO ends the 2010 season winning two straight NCAA Division II and Super Region 2 titles. The Mavs posted a 13-1 dual meet record. Eight Mavericks earned All-Americans honors.