Advances To Semifinals During Opening Day Of NAIA Nationals
College’s Jake Stevenson, a freshman from Petersburg,
Neb., placed fourth in the 174 lb. division of the 2005 NAIA
Wrestling Championships held Friday and Saturday at Sioux
City’s Tyson Events Center/Gateway Arena.
Stevenson, who earned NAIA All-America status for his fourth
place finish, lost a 20-5 technical fall against Todd Allen
of Cumberland College in Saturday’s third place consolation
match. A slow start hurt Stevenson, who fell behind 8-0 after
one period against an opponent he had defeated 16-6 when they
met in Friday’s quarterfinals.
Stevenson, ranked third in the nation, finished the season
with a record of 33-11, while Allen closed out a 28-7 campaign.
Stevenson’s 33 triumphs are a Morningside single-season
record, topping the previous Morningside standard of 29 wins
by Steve Newhard during the 1972-73 campaign.
He earned his spot in the third place consolation match with
a 7-6 victory against J.D. Johnson of Newman University in
the consolation bracket. Stevenson led for most of the match,
but had to score the winning points just as time expired.
Johnson, who trailed 5-1 in the third period, had scored a
reversal and 3-point nearfall with 40 seconds left to take
a 6-5 lead. Stevenson escaped just as time expired to tie
the score at 6-6 and received another point for riding time
for the final margin.
Johnson, also a freshman, saw his record drop to 20-8 after
Stevenson’s run of seven consecutive victories came
to an end in his first match on Saturday when he dropped a
9-5 decision against No. 1-ranked David Rivera of Embry-Riddle
University in the semifinals.
Rivera took a 2-0 lead with a take down 45 seconds into the
match. Stevenson, who trailed 6-2 going into the third period,
closed within 6-3 when Rivera was penalized for stalling.
The Emrby-Riddle standout gained some breathing room when
he scored a take down with 41 seconds left in the match for
an 8-3 advantage.
Rivera, a senior who was last year’s NAIA 174 lb. national
runner-up, advanced to Saturday evening’s title bout
against second-ranked Keith Cupp of Cumberland University
with a 38-15 record.
Cupp, 23-3, advanced to the final with a 7-5 semifinal round
victory against eighth-ranked Abel Trujillo of William Penn
University. Trujillo, who Stevenson pinned in 5:28 in the
championship match at the NAIA Central Region Tournament on
Feb. 19, had been ranked second nationally leading up to the
NAIA Region tourneys.
for complete 174 lb. results.
Jake Stevenson, a freshman from Petersburg, Neb., has
advanced to the semifinals in the 174 lb. division of the
NAIA Wrestling Championships at Sioux City’s Tyson Events
By reaching Saturday’s semifinals, Stevenson is assured
of a top six placing and NAIA All-America status. Stevenson’s
victories also assured Morningside of producing an All-American
in its first season of varsity competition since it dropped
the program after the 1978-79 season.
Stevenson routed Todd Allen of Cumberland College by a 16-6
major decision in Friday’s quarterfinals to improve
his record to 32-9. His 32 victories are the most in Morningside
history, breaking the former school single-season mark of
29 triumphs by Steve Newhard during the 1972-73 campaign.
He opened the day with a convincing 10-2 major decision against
Matt Rudd of Missouri Baptist University, and then advanced
to the quarterfinals with a 4-0 decision against Junior Liberal
of Menlo College in the first round. Stevenson scored a take
down against Liberal late in the first period which proved
to be the difference. After a scoreless second period, Stevenson
received an uncontested escape to start the third period and
tacked on a point for riding time at the finish to account
for the 4-0 final.
Stevenson will take a seven-match winning streak into his
Saturday morning semifinal bout against David Rivera of Embry-Riddle
University. Rivera, 37-15, is ranked No. 1 in the nation and
was last year’s 174 lb. runner-up.
Shea Minor, a freshman from Council Bluffs, Iowa, also
won his opening bout with a 5-2 decision against Nick Leon
of Embry-Riddle University in 133 lb. action. Minor then dropped
a 10-5 verdict against Spencer Griffiths of the University
of Great Falls to drop into the consolation bracket.
Minor was eliminated from the wrestle backs when he dropped
an 8-4 decision to Sergio Lopez of Menlo, who was ranked sixth
nationally. Minor finished the season with a record of 13-13.
The Mustangs’ other four national qualifiers all lost
their first matches to drop into the consolation bracket.
Jared Pickett, a freshman from David City, Neb., lost
11-7 against Leonardo Martinez of Lindenwood University in
his opening bout. Martinez, who is ranked fourth nationally,
improved his season’s record to 24-11.
He remained alive
in the 141 lb. competition with a 7-5 overtime win against
Tony Martinez of Menlo in the first round of the wrestle backs.
Pickett, who trailed 4-1 at one stage of the match, battled
Martinez to a 5-5 standoff in regulation time before scoring
the winning take down in overtime. Pickett’s season
ended in the next round of the wrestle backs when he dropped
a 10-2 decision against Matt Palladino of Bethel College.
Pickett finished the season with a record of 23-18.
Josh Curry, a freshman from Ponca, Neb., lost by a
15-0 technical fall against Ernie Spreitzer of Cumberland
College in 149 lb. action. Curry was eliminated after a 7-1
setback against Earl Ulrey of Southern Oregon University in
the opening round of the wrestle backs.
Kiel Ploen, a sophomore from Pierson, Iowa, dropped
a 21-6 technical fall against Cumberland’s Renwick Richardson
in opening round heavyweight action. Ploen was eliminated
when he was pinned in 1:22 by Brandon Lemer of Jamestown College
in the first round of the wrestle backs. Lemer, who placed
fourth at last year’s championships, is ranked third
in the nation. Ploen finished the season with an 18-20 record.
Nathan Ploen, a freshman from Kingsley, Iowa, was pinned
in 3:48 by Alex Becerra of Lindenwood in the opening round
of the heavyweight division. Becerra, 21-10, is ranked sixth
nationally. A 15-4 setback against Luke Roberts of Great Falls
in the first round of the wrestle backs finished Ploen’s
season at 14-14.
for complete results.