Soderblom Wins Three on Friday of Nationals, Will be All-American
Des Moines–A healthy Kyle Soderblom (So., Newton, Iowa, Biology) proved Friday that he is one of the best in the nation and worthy of standing on the awards podium by winning three times at the 56th Annual NAIA Wrestling National Championships.
Soderblom won three of four matches and will spend Saturday morning seeking to finish as high as third at 197 pounds.
The sophomore, whose late-season injury prevented him from competing at last year’s Championships, opened his first meet with a pin over Andrew Hairston of Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) in a time of 2:16.
He then won by fall over Dylan Lemery of Great Falls (Mont.) in 2:32 to reach the quarterfinals. Unfortunately, Morningside’s John Sievert slowed Soderblom with a 9-6 win, forcing him to the consolation bracket.
Soderblom did not let his tournament end with back-to-back setbacks, though, defeating Bradlee Carls of York (Neb.) 8-2 to earn All-America status. The sophomore is the 40th All-American in school history and will next face Charles Johnson of Southern Oregon.
Joao Vicente (Fr., East Providence, R.I., Physical Education) entered nationals ranked 11th, the same as Soderblom, but unfortunately could not match his teammate as he was eliminated with a 1-2 record.
The freshman held an early lead over Jacob McCombs of Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) in his initial match, but fell short late with a 6-5 decision. He rebounded with a dominating 17-1 technical fall over Morningside’s Nathan Ryan. His first nationals appearance came to an abrupt ending, however, with a 12-4 loss to Miguel Baltazar of Southern Oregon, two wins short of being an All-American.
After the first day of action, the Statesmen are tied for 21st in the team standings with 11.5 points. Defending champion Grand View is on its way to another title with 93 points, while Southern Oregon is second with 83 points.