KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Chris Padilla of Missouri Baptist has been named the NAIA National Wrestler of the Week, the national office announced Wednesday. Padilla, who is the final weekly honoree for the 2013-14 season, was selected based on his performances from Feb. 17 – 23 and was chosen out of a pool of nominees from the four Qualifying Groups.
Padilla, a native of Fresno City, Calif., won the 125-pound championship and was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the event last Saturday at the NAIA East Qualifying Group Tournament. The senior, who entered the event unranked in the 125-pound weight class, knocked of three nationally ranked wrestlers in No. 5 Javier Carbajal of Cumberlands (Ky.) (7-5), No. 4 Myron Bradbury of Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (6-5) and No. 3 Cody Steiner of Campbellsville (Ky.) (8-5) en route to the title. Additionally, the finish secured Padilla an automatic berth into the 2014 NAIA Wrestling National Championships. Overall, Missouri Baptist finished seventh out of 12 teams.
On the year, Padilla owns a 17-8 overall record, including a 9-1 mark against NAIA opponents.
For the complete Player of the Week calendar, click here.
Nominees: Scott Brasil, Menlo (Calif.); Emilio Rivera, Concordia (Neb.); Blake Fruchtl, Hastings (Neb.); Tyler McMichael, Midland (Neb.); Trever DeVestern, Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.); Josh Manu, Missouri Valley; John Walters, West Virginia Tech; Jameel Bryant, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.); Jake Williams, Cumberland (Tenn.); Courtney Freeman, Cumberlands (Ky.); Cody Steiner, Campbellsville (Ky.); Zach Skates, Oklahoma City.
2013-14 NAIA Wrestlers of the Week
Week 1 (Jan. 15): Joe Cozart, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)
Week 2 (Jan. 22): Javier Carbajal, Cumberlands (Ky.)
Week 3 (Jan. 29): Ryak Finch, Grand View (Iowa)
Week 4 (Feb. 5): Keaton Thomas, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)
Week 5 (Feb. 12): Jameel Bryant, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)
Week 6 (Feb. 19): Jake Ekster, Missouri Valley
Week 7 (Feb. 26): Chris Padilla, Missouri Baptist