FREMONT, Neb. – Midland University hosted their annual Viking-Warrior Open this past weekend and three Warrior wrestlers battled their way to a placing. The event featured 93 wrestlers from six different schools and a handful of unattached athletes.
Rafael Vargas, Dominique Evans and Maury Lemon placed for the Midland in their respective divisions. Vargas took third at 125, Evans was fifth at 157 and Lemons was sixth at 285.
The field at 125 had just three wrestlers including Midland’s Vargas. He lost both matches by tech fall fo the third place finish. He lost 16-0 to Ethan Cota of Augustana and 17-1 to eventual champion Brandon Carroll, also from Augustana.
Evans route to fifth place at 157 featured four bouts. After receiving an opening round bye, he fell to Brayden Williams of UNK in the quarterfinals. On the consolation side he won an 8-5 decision over Dylan Schuck of Augustana to advance to the semifinals on that side of the bracket. He face Bruce Lemon of Augustana and lost a 4-1 decision and then in the fifth place match he won by injury default over Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer of Grand View.
The 285 division was the largest by far on the day with 19 wrestlers competing in the weight class. Midland had five wrestlers with Sam Hitt, Kendall Farr, Rajan Ellebb, Aaron Rafalko and Maury Lemon all hitting the mat.
Lemon was the lone Warrior to place though as he took sixth place. His route started with a loss by fall to Gary Whitaker of Grand View at 2:37 in the second round followed by four consecutive wins on the consolation side. He started the run with a pair of falls. The first over teammate Sam Hitt at 0:32 then Tre’zen Doren of UNK at 0:42. He then went the distance and won an 8-3 decision over Steven Gregory of Grand View and added a victory over Brady Radik of UNK by fall at 6:12.
That set up a rematch with Gary Whitaker in the consolation semifinals. Lemon lost a close 4-1 decision this time and then couldn’t recover for the fifth place match where Luke Nohns of Augustana won by rule.
Next up for the Warriors is the NWCA National Duals in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Bouts begin on Thursday, January 4th and continue on Friday. Midland’s first round opponent is the University of the Cumberlands at 8 a.m. CT.