Vicente, Soderblom Advance to Nationals
Baldwin City, Kan.–Two William Penn wrestlers have extended their campaigns to the biggest meet of the year after the squad competed at the NAIA Central Qualifying Group Tournament Saturday.
The Statesmen were seventh out of 11 teams with 40.5 points, while #1 Grand View defended its title with 179.5 points.
With the new qualifying procedures, Saturday was the only avenue for grapplers to reach the national championships. Wrestlers who placed in the top four automatically qualified, while each Qualifying Group was also allotted additional at-large bids depending on the size of the tournament.
Joao Vicente (Fr., East Providence, R.I., Secondary Education) entered the day as the top seed at 133 pounds, but was upset in the semifinals. Fortunately, he bounced back to win two more matches to place third. The freshman finished 4-1 with two falls and one technical fall.
197-pounder Kyle Soderblom (So., Newton, Iowa, Biology) will join Vicente as an at-large. The sophomore, who will be making his second trip to nationals, opened the day as the third seed, but came up a bit shy by finishing fifth at 2-2 (one technical fall).
Ishmael Rempson (So., Olympia Fields, Ill., Industrial Technology) also gave it a good run at 157 pounds, but was on the negative end of a referee’s decision. After back-to-back pins, he was sent to the consolation bracket by the eventual champion. Then, trailing just 2-1 early in the second period his next match, he was disqualified for what the referee viewed as slamming his opponent to the mat. Rempson ended Saturday with a 2-2 record.
149-pounder Lane Colwell (Fr., Knoxville, Iowa, Computer Science) picked up two wins as well (one technical fall), while 141-pounder Jay Fresh (Fr., Knoxville, Iowa, Sociology) and heavyweight Nathan Veverka (Jr., Montezuma, Iowa, Industrial Technology) also earned a victory at the tournament.