DES MOINES, Iowa - (Team Scoring | Bracket) For the third-straight session, Grand View (Iowa) rests atop the team standings of the 2013 NAIA Wrestling National Championships Saturday at the Jacobson Exhibition Center. The Vikings boast 141 points, followed by Southern Oregon with 134 points. Montana State-Northern is third with 104 points, while Dickinson State (N.D.) (84.5) and Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (74.5) round out the top five.
In championship bracket semifinal action, five wrestlers punched their ticket into the finals for the second-straight year, headlined by three defending national champions in Southern Oregon's Mitchell Lofstedt (125), who is vying for his third title in his fourth appearance, Brock Gutches (174) of Southern Oregon and Eric Thompson of Grand View (285).
Jimmy Eggemeyer of Southern Oregon (149) and Baker's (Kan.) Brandon Gebhardt (285) return to the championship match for the second-consecutive season after finishing runner-up in their respective weight class a year ago.
Eleven programs will be represented in the finals with four sending multiple wrestlers into title bouts. Grand View boasts a championship-high five grapplers in the finals, followed by Southern Oregon with four. Dickinson State and Lindsey Wilson each send a pair. Of the 11 programs, Baker and Wayland Baptist (Texas) each have an opportunity to crown its first-ever national champion.
At 141 pounds, Wismit Moinius of Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and Grand View's Gustavo Martinez were deadlocked at 1-1 after exchanging escapes at the end of regulation. With an additional 60 seconds on the clock, Moinius took a shot at Martinez, to which the Viking turned into a scramble situation in his favor. Martinez used a double-leg takedown to lift Moinius in the air and slam him on his back to get the fall at the 7:24 mark.
Martinez will take on Myles Mazurkiewicz of Great Falls (Mont.) for the 141-pound title. It will be Mazurkiewicz's second trip to the finals, finishing as the 133-pound runner-up as a freshman in 2010. Mazurkiewicz defeated Brandon Westerman of Campbellsville (Ky.) with a 4-2 decision in the other semifinal match.
Menlo's Eric Lopez forced Ethan Hinebauch of Montana State-Northern into his first full match in Des Moines and was able to capitalize on the situation with a 7-5 decision in the first sudden victory at a 165-pound semifinal contest. Hinebauch, the NAIA's fall leader, only needed a pair of reversals and takedowns in two matches before pinning his way into the semifinals. It was a different story with Lopez. The sophomores were tied at 5-5 after seven minutes of action, with Lopez notching a pair of takedowns and an escape, to Hinebauch's two escapes and a three-point nearfall. The third and deciding takedown for Lopez came midway through the first sudden victory as the two battled for control and Hinebauch attempted to roll out of Lopez's hold.
Lopez's opponent for the 165 title will be another sophomore, Grand View's Jimmie Schuessler. An All-American at 157 pounds a year ago, Schuessler scored an 8-3 decision over Shawn Lau of Great Falls in the other semifinal bout.
A pair of wrestlers became three-time All-Americans with third-place finishes: Cameron Schrempp of Dickinson State and Derek Nightser of Grand View. Schrempp defeated Max Payne of Montana State-Northern, 6-1, to take third position at 174 pounds, while Nightser knocked Campbellsville's Allen Scruggs, 2-0, at 197 pounds.
First year programs Simpson (Calif.), Life (Ga.) and Benedictine (Kan.) each had an individual take home All-America honors. Anthony Vega placed fifth at 141 pounds, Brady Beamon was eighth at 165 and Austin Lobsinger placed fourth at 285 pounds for Simpson. Trey Hicks earned fifth for Life, while Benedictine's Joe Hunter claimed eighth at 149.
NeuLion, the NAIA's official video streaming company of 12 select NAIA National Championship events, will be broadcasting the title bouts of the 2013 NAIA Wrestling National Championships. Packages can be purchased for $9.95. For more information and to register, click here.
Championship finals of the 56th annual event are scheduled to begin 7 p.m. CST.