Contact: Amanda Dahl, NAIA Manager of Sports Information & Media Services, firstname.lastname@example.org
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -Ben Knight of Morningside (Iowa) has been named the final NAIA National Wrestler of the Week, the national office announced Wednesday. Knight was selected based on his performances from Feb. 14 - 20.
Knight entered the NAIA North Qualifying Group Tournament unranked and took down three ranked opponents en route to the 165-pound championship on Feb. 19. He opened with a pin, the fourth of his senior campaign, by sticking Hastings’ (Neb.) Justin Narduzzo in 5:38. Knight then began taking down ranked wrestlers, starting with a 4-2 decision over then-No. 12 Pat Ford of Jamestown (N.D.) in the quarterfinals. He squared off against teammate and previously-top-ranked Joe Sievert, emerging with a 2-1 decision. Knight captured the title with a 16-3 major decision against then-No. 5 Jameon Rush of Hastings.
The Sioux City, Iowa, native was named the event’s Outstanding Wrestler while winning his first tournament of the season. Knight owns a 25-6 record with four pins, three major decisions and one technical fall to his credit. He is now ranked second nationally at 165 pounds.
Nominees: Larone Madison, Cumberlands (Ky.); Corey Bleaken, Cumberland (Tenn.); Tim Thurston, Campbellsville (Ky.); Andrew Sanchez, McKendree (Ill.); Matt Birns, Grand View (Iowa).
2011 Composite Award Winners (Schedule)
Week 1: Tommie Hooper, Southern Oregon
Week 2: Kidd Gomez, Oklahoma City
Week 3: Thomas Straughn, Notre Dame (Ohio)
Week 4: Joe Sievert, Morningside (Iowa)
Week 5: Andrew Sanchez, McKendree (Ill.)
Week 6: David Clemens, Campbellsville (Ky.)
Week 7: Ben Knight, Morningside (Iowa)