Photo Courtesy of Lyric Allen
By Erik Cumley
Concordia University Wrestling traveled to Fremont, NE. for the Great Plains Athletic Conference wrestling championships on Friday and Saturday Feb. 19-20. Freshman Jacob Telles ended the weekend on top of the podium, winning a GPAC title in the heavyweight bracket. Telles was one of the five Bulldogs to place in the tournament.
As a team, Concordia finished in sixth place with 70 team points. Telles, senior Gabe Crawford and junior Mario Ybarra earned a spot in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national tournament. Telles and Crawford automatically qualified for the tournament while Ybarra was selected by coaches as an at-large qualifier.
Concordia has had two recent national finalists in the past, Tanner Farmer and Ceron Francisco. Telles is continuing that tradition. He defeated Doane’s Samuel Peterson 5-0, Briar Cliff’s Matthew Wilke 5-1 and lastly Doane’s Brandon Antesberger 3-1 this season. After this weekend, Telles has now moved to an overall record of 33-11.
In the 165 weight class, Crawford lost his first match to Dakota Wesleyan’s Marcus Urban 10-7. However, that did not slow him down as he won his next three matches via pin and technical fall. Crawford would fight back to wrestle Urban in the third-place match, this time winning 9-8. Crawford ended the weekend with second place.
Other place finishers for the weekend were sophomore Brandon Gonzalez who finished in fifth in the 149 weight class, junior Issiah Burks who finished in sixth in the 157 weight class, and freshman Mason Garcia who finished in fifth in the 197 weight class.
The 2021 NAIA Wrestling National Championships will be held at Hartman Arena in Park City, KS on Mar. 5-6. This will be the second year in a row Hartman Arena will serve as the venue for the national championship. Last year, the Bulldogs placed fifteenth in the NAIA with Tanner Farmer and Alberto Garcia collecting All-American honors.