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Waldorf closes out season in regional tournament

waldorf-warriors-outline_1By Matt Oliver

MARSHALL, Mo. – The Waldorf College men’s wrestling team concluded the season in Saturday’s National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Central National Qualifier.

Zach Milks (157 pounds) won one of three matches for the Warriors while freshman Kyle Penalosa (125), sophomore Jacob Adams (133), senior Dario Gamino (149), sophomore Austin Roys (165), freshman Kegan Thomas (184), seniors Dirk McOmber (197) and Ryan Dugger (197) each finished with 0-2 tournament records.

Six of Waldorf’s grapplers faced challenges from the get-go, squaring off against ranked opponents in the regional tournament that featured the top two teams in the country.

It was a tough start for Milks (12-13) as he opened the day losing by fall in 4 minutes, 40 seconds to Missouri Valley College’s Andrew Simmons, who’s ranked No. 8 in the latest NAIA poll. Milks rebounded as the freshman from Charles City secured an 11-3 major decision over Benedictine College’s Alek Mitchell. Benedictine’s Tyler Mann pinned Milks in 1:57 during a second-round consolation bout.

Penalosa (5-16) was edged by Missouri Valley’s 15th-ranked Ryan Stearns, who prevailed in a 10-7 decision.  Following a first-round consolation bye, Penalosa was topped by Missouri Valley’s Alex Jaurez in an 18-0 technical fall.

Grand View University’s third-ranked Jacob Colon scored a 30-second fall over Adams (2-14) in the opening round. Adams received a first-round consolation bye and came up short against William Penn University’s Jeremy Andujar, who pulled out a 9-6 decision.

Following a first-round bye, Gamino (2-11) lost by fall in the quarterfinals to Grand View’s top-ranked Andrew Long in 2:06. Coming off a second-round consolation bye, Gamino was pinned by the University of Jamestown’s Brandon Aragon in 4:34.

Roys (3-14) received an opening-round bye and couldn’t keep pace with Dickinson State University’s fourth-ranked Taylor Hodel, who locked up a 16-1 technical fall. Following a second-round consolation bye, Roys saw his day end as Benedictine’s Kaleb Mitchell recorded a fall in 4:22.

Thomas (1-7) was pinned by William Penn’s Cody Jones in 4:52. After an opening-round consolation bye, Thomas lost by fall to Jamestown’s Daniel Tomaszewski in 58 seconds.

McOmber (8-8) found himself in a battle with Missouri Valley’s seventh-ranked Donavan Fouchey. Five minutes and 52 seconds elapsed before Fouchey pinned down the win. McOmber earned a first-round consolation bye and was brought down by Baker University’s Kyler Atwood in a 13-4 major decision.

Dugger (1-11) lost by fall to Graceland University’s Ryan Paige in 52 seconds. Following a first-round consolation bye, Baker’s William Leone pinned Dugger in 2:06.

The tournament ended the careers of Gamino, McOmber and Dugger, who have served as leaders and helped set the tone for the Warriors throughout their careers.

Top-ranked Grand View won the regional championship as the four-time defending national champion Vikings racked up 223 points. Second-ranked Missouri Valley (156) claimed the runner-up spot while No. 19 Baker (105), No. 15 Dickinson State (100), William Penn (61.5), Graceland (57.5), Benedictine (47.5), Jamestown (45) and Waldorf (1.5) completed the team standings.

With six freshmen, three sophomores and five juniors on this year’s roster, the Warriors are looking ahead to working hard in the off season as they prepare for the 2016-17 campaign.