DES MOINES, Iowa – Five Warriors represented Midland University’s wrestling team at the NAIA Wrestling National Championships last weekend, finishing out an impressive season with a top-15 finish in the tournament.
With 35 team points, the No. 14 Warriors finished 13th out of 49 teams that were represented at the national tournament on March 1 and 2.
Senior David Berg highlighted the weekend as he was crowned the national champion in the 141-pound weight class, capping an incredible career and an undefeated season in his weight class.
No. 1-seeded Berg defeated Grand View’s No. 2-seeded Eric Clarke in a narrow 2-1 decision that came down to the final seconds and even went to video review late. Berg, a two-time national third-place finisher, finally managed to break through and be crowned a national champion in his final season as a Warrior.
Three other Warriors managed to win at least one match at the national tournament.
Senior Dominique Evans, the No. 8-seeded wrestler at 157-pounds, won his first match in the championship bracket by fall (2:34), but dropped into the consolation bracket after a loss by decision (3-2) in his second match.
Evans would grab two more wins in the consolation bracket by way of a major decision (11-3) and a decision (5-2) before being eliminated by Reinhardt’s Justin George, the 11th-seed, in a 6-2 decision.
Senior Julian Gaytan received a bye and then won his first match by fall (6:52). The No. 4-seeded wrestler at 133-pounds would drop each of his next two matches, one by fall and one by decision.
Freshman Tristan Zamilpa dropped into the consolation bracket after being defeated by fall in his first match. As the 12th-seeded wrestler at 141-pounds, he won one match by decision before being eliminated by 11th-seed Southeastern’s Ethan Owen in a 9-2 decision.
Senior Stephon Gray entered the national tournament unranked and, after receiving a bye, dropped two straight matches and was eliminated from the 165-pound bracket.
The Warriors finished a solid 2018-19 campaign with a national champion, five national qualifiers, and a top-three finish in the Great Plains Athletic Conference. Midland also won 10 dual matches this season, the most since the program was reinstated in 2011, and is likely to remain one of the top teams ranked in the final poll NAIA Coaches’ Top 25. The final poll will be released on March 8th.