Maybe Nebraska-Omaha’s wrestlers just needed a change of scenery.
The Mavericks romped their way to their fifth national championship Saturday at the Houston Recreation and Wellness Center, scoring 146 ½ points, the most since Central Oklahoma tallied 148 in 1995. All five of the Mavericks’ championships have come in different locations.
It was Nebraska-Omaha’s first team title since it three-peated from 2004-06, and the Mavericks made the return to the throne room an emphatic one.
They had only one winner (Todd Meneely at 157 pounds), but they had four finalists, four third-place finishers and a total of nine all-Americans. The 66-point gap was the largest since 1982 when Cal State Bakersfield set a scoring and margin of victory record.
“I’m really proud of our guys, proud of their overall performance,” said Nebraska-Omaha coach Mike Denny. “We placed eight in the top three. We had nine all-Americans and we’ve only done that one other time in the last 30 years (1999). I have been proud of these guys from day one with all the bonus points, the pins, the major decisions. Team power was our key. We have stressed that all year.”
Meneely’s championship was his third, coming in a thrilling 4-2 marathon match over Travis Eggers of Upper Iowa. Meneely won with a takedown 17 seconds into the second sudden-victory period. Both wrestlers had ride-outs in the tiebreaker after a scoreless first sudden-victory session. Meneely’s victory capped a 22-0 season. He won at 149 pounds in both 2007 and 2008.
“I didn’t expect that tough of a match in the finals. I knew (Eggers) was good but I expected to dominate,” Meneely said. “He kind of felt big out there; I only weigh 154. I usually don’t have a problem, but he was one of the bigger kids in my weight class. I just came out and said I wasn’t losing.”
The Mavericks’ other finalists were Aaron Denson at 165, Brett Pankoke at 184 and Jacob Marrs at 197.
Denson fell to Josh Shields of Mercyhurst, who became the school’s first national champion with a 5-0 win. Shields, the nation’s top-ranked wrestler coming into the tournament, scored a three-point near fall in the second period, the first of the night. Sheilds beat No. 2 Corey Van Groll of Wisconsin-Parkside, 4-0, in the semifinals and finished the season at 29-3.
“This is a nice landmark for us,” Shields said of the initial crown. “I feel like there are plenty more to come with the great coaches we have. It just feels great to be the first champion from Mercyhurst with many more to come.”
At 174 pounds, Brett Hunter of Chadron State won his second career title, defeating Kamarudeen “Marty” Usman of Nebraska-Kearney, the only Texas high school wrestler in the tournament, on riding time, 3-2. Hunter won at 165 pounds as a sophomore in 2007 and became the school’s first two-time champion.
Hunter said, “This is my second time winning it, but this time is 10 times better because I beat a kid that I lost to all year. This is just amazing. . . words can’t describe it.”
Adams State and Newberry each posted individual championships. For Adams State, Arsenia Barksdale won at 125 pounds while Kyle Sand took the 184-pound crown. The Newberry titles went to Kenno Griffin at 197 and to heavyweight Cy Wainwright.
“This feels good,” Barksdale said. “I have been waiting for this for a long time. This proves that if you set goals for yourself, you can accomplish anything.”
1. Neb.-Omaha, 146 1/2; 2. Newberry, 80 1/2; 3. Minn. St. Mankato, 71 1/2; 4. Neb.-Kearney, 65; 5. Adams St., 62; 6. Central Okla., 60 1/2; 7. Western St., 54; 8. St. Cloud St., 44; 9. Mercyhurst, 41; 10. Upper Iowa, 37; 11. Chadron St., 36; 12. Wis.-Parkside, 34 1/2; 13. San Fran. St., 34; 14. Pitt.-Johnstown, 33; 15. (tie) Gannon and West Liberty St., 32 1/2; 17. Fort Hays St., 26 1/2; 18. Central Mo., 22; 19. Kutztown, 19; 20. N.M. Highlands, 18 1/2; 21. Augustana (S.D.), 15 1/2; 22. Ashland and Findlay, 13; 24. Anderson (S.C.), 12; 25. (tie) Mesa St. and Minn. St. Moorhead, 10 1/2; 27. Limestone, 5 1/2; 28. Shippensburg, 3; 29. UNC Pembroke, 2; 30. Northern St., 1/2; 31. (tie) Belmont Abbey, Carson-Newman, Colorado Mines, Indianapolis, and Southwest Minn. St., 0.
125 — Arsenia Barksdale, Adams St., def. Thomas Edgmon, Fort Hays St., 3-1.
133 — Joe Kemmerer, Kutztown, def. Shane Valko, Pitt.-Johnstown, 2-1 (tiebreaker).
141 — Doug Surra, West Liberty St., def. Raymond Dunning, Adams St., 5-3.
149 — Tommy Abbott, Minn. St. Mankato, def. Christopher Freije, Western St., 6-5.
157 — Todd Meneely, Neb.-Omaha, def. Travis Eggers, Upper Iowa, 4-2 (sudden victory).
165 — Josh Shields, Mercyhurst, def. Aaron Denson, Neb.-Omaha, 5-0.
174 — Brett Hunter, Chadron St., def. Kamarudeen Usman, Neb.-Kearney, 3-2.
184 — Kyle Sand, Adams St., def. Brent Pankoke, Neb.-Omaha, 6-4 (sudden victory).
197 — Keeno Griffin, Newberry, def. Jacob Marrs, Neb.-Omaha, 3-2.
Heavyweight — Cy Wainwright, Newberry, def. Dustin Finn, Central Okla., 6-4.
Complete individual results
First round: Matt Oliver, Newberry, def. Alex Meger, Augustana (S.D), 10-0; Curtis Schurkamp, San Fran. St., def. Matthew Rein, Neb.-Omaha, 8-5; Andy Forstner, Minn. St. Mankato, def. Carlton Hamilton, Anderson (S.C.), 4-2; Thomas Edgmon, Fort Hays St., def. Cody Zimmerman, Wis.-Parkside, 7-3; Arsenia Barksdale, Adams St., def. Daniel Mandara, Ashland, 7-2; Russell Weakley, UNC Pembroke, def. Kyle Pedretti, Upper Iowa, 12-4; Devlon Webb, Chadron St., def. Tim Elliott, Central Okla., 5-4; Payne Lint, Mercyhurst, def. Corbin Surat, Northern St., 4-1.
Quarterfinals: Oliver def. Schurkamp, 10-6; Edgmon def. Forstner, 9-7; Barksdale def. Weakley, 3-2; Elliott def. Lint, 7-0.
Semifinals: Edgmon def. Oliver, 6-4; Barksdale def. Elliott, 7-2.
Final: Barksdale def. Edgmon, 3-1.
First round: Rein def. Meger, 4-3; Hamilton def. Zimmerman, 5-3; Pedretti def. Mandara, 5-3; Surat def. Webb, 9-3.
Second round: Lint pinned Rein, 5:41; Hamilton def. Weakley, 6-4 (sudden victory); Forstner def. Pedretti, 15-5; Schurkamp def. Surat, 8-6.
Third round: Hamilton def. Lint, 11-7; Forstner def. Schurkamp, 12-8.
Semifinals: Oliver def. Hamilton, 4-0; Elliott def. Forstner, 9-1.
Third place: Oliver def. Elliott, 4-3.
Fifth place: Hamilton def. Forstner, 9-1.
Seventh place: Schurkamp def. Lint, 14-6.
First round: Shane Valko, Pitt.-Johnstown, def. Joseph Morrison, Neb.-Kearney, 6-1; Grant Baker, Central Mo., def. Michal Barrie, Southwest Minn. St., 14-1; Naveed Bagheri, San Fran. St., def. Nick Wykoff, West Liberty St., 7-2; Scott Berens, Central Okla., pinned Josh Williams, St. Cloud St., 6:01; Cody Garcia, Neb.-Omaha, def. Tim Haneberg, Minn. St. Mankato, 9-0; Joe Kemmerer, Kutztown, def. Rhett Breed, Mesa St., 5-0; Trevor Franklin, Upper Iowa, def. Jake Bartley, Ashland, 18-3 (technical fall, 7:00); Marques Bravo, Western St., def. Andrew Young, Newberry, 2-1.
Quarterfinals: Valko pinned Baker, 5:17; Bagheri def. Berens, 15-11; Kemmerer def. Garcia, 4-2; Bravo pinned Franklin, 4:20.
Semifinals: Valko def. Bagheri, 3-0; Kemmerer def. Bravo, 1-0 (tiebreaker).
Final: Kemmerer def. Valko, 2-1 (tiebreaker).
First round: Morrison def. Barrie, 11-0; Williams def. Wykoff, 10-2; Breed def. Haneberg, 11-3; Young def. Bartley, 3-1;
Second round: Morrison def. Franklin, 9-7; Garcia pinned Williams, 0:45; Berens def. Breed, 10-6; Young def. Baker, 5-2.
Third round: Garcia pinned Morrison, 4:38; Young def. Berens, 9-4.
Semifinals: Garcia pinned Bagheri, 3:19; Bravo def. Young, 3-2.
Third place: Garcia pinned Bravo, 2:34.
Fifth place: Bagheri def. Young, 10-2.
Seventh place: Morrison def. Berens, 3-0.
First round: Doug Surra, West Liberty St., def. Colby Robinson, Central Okla., 7-4; Steven Baker, Upper Iowa, def. Ben Lockett, San Fran. St., 5-3; Mario Morgan, Neb.-Omaha, def. Bryan Miller, UNC Pembroke, 5-3; Jimmy Savala, Chadron St., def. Jay Sherer, Augustana (S.D.), 11-3; James Annon, Fort Hays St., def. Gabriel Suarez, St. Cloud St., 5-4; Adam Whetstone, Pitt.-Johnstown, def. Cory Bloodgood, Central Mo., 9-3; Raymond Dunning, Adams St., pinned John Putman, Minn. St. Mankato, 2:47; Jeremy Parker, Limestone, def. Matt Irwin, 6-2.
Quarterfinals: Surra def. Baker, 15-8; Morgan def. Savala, 6-3; Whetstone, def. Annon, 6-5; Dunning def. Parker, 3-0.
Semifinals: Surra def. Morgan, 2-0 (sudden victory); Dunning def. Whetstone, 14-3.
Final: Surra def. Dunning, 5-3.
First round: Lockett def. Robinson, 4-2; Sherer def. Miller, 4-3; Bloodgood def. Suarez, 10-0; Putman def. Irwin, (by default).
Second round: Lockett def. Parker, 10-8; Sherer def. Annon, 11-5; Bloodgood def. Savala, 5-4; Putman def. Baker, 9-6.
Third round: Lockett def. Sherer, 12-6; Putman def. Bloodgood, 8-6.
Semifinals: Morgan def. Lockett, 2-0; Putman def. Whetstone, 13-6.
Third place: Morgan def. Putman, 4-2.
Fifth place: Whetstone def. Lockett, 7-3.
Seventh place: Sherer def. Bloodgood, 5-0.
First round: Kevin McElehaney, Gannon, def. David Albrecht, Southwest Minn. St., 11-3; William Forrest, Central Mo., def. Ryan Etherton, Neb.-Kearney, 8-7; Tommy Abbott, Minn. St. Mankato, def. Kayne Melko, West Liberty St., 3-1; Joseph Deaguero, Adams St., pinned Esai Dominguez, Neb.-Omaha, 4:14; Christopher Freije, Western St., def. Luke Elmore, Central Okla., 3-1; Mike Long, Augustana (S.D.), def. Latra Collick, Newberry, 9-0; Craig Becker, Wis.-Parkside, def. Jessie Snider, Colorado Mines, 12-2; Ryan McIntyre, Pitt.-Johnstown, def. Jacob Roberts, St. Cloud St., 8-4.
Quarterfinals: McElehaney def. Forrest, 16-3; Abbott def. Deaguero, 8-0; Freije def. Long, 4-3; Becker def. McIntyre, 18-2 (technical fall, 7:00).
Semifinals: Abbott def. McElehaney, 11-0; Freije pinned Becker, 1:42.
Final: Abbott def. Freije, 6-5.
First round: Etherton def. Albrecht, 6-1; Dominguez def. Melko, 12-4; Elmore def. Collick, 6-5; Roberts def. Snider, 14-2.
Second round: Etherton def. McIntyre, 9-0; Dominguez def. Long, (by default); Elmore def. Deaguero, 8-2; Forrest def. Roberts, 7-6.
Third round: Dominguez def. Etherton, 17-3; Elmore def. Forrest, 14-10.
Semifinals: Dominguez def. McElehaney, 14-8; Becker def. Elmore, 9-2.
Third place: Dominguez def. Becker, 6-4 (sudden victory).
Fifth place: Elmore pinned McElehaney, 4:49.
Seventh place: Forrest def. Etherton, 6-4.
First round: Andy Lamancusa, Mercyhurst, def. Keenan McCurdy, Neb.-Kearney, 9-3; John Sundgren, St. Cloud St., def. Cory Fornal, Indianapolis, 6-0; Mitch Smith, West Liberty St., def. Noomis Jones, Adams St., 8-2; Travis Eggers, Upper Iowa, def. Michael Lybarger, Findlay, 16-6; Todd Meneely, Neb.-Omaha, pinned Tallen Wald, Minn. St. Moorhead, 6:57; Chase Walker, Mesa St., def. Jonathan Jackson, Anderson (S.C.), 3-1 (sudden victory); Travis Elg, Minn. St. Mankato, pinned Denis Ryzhov, Central Mo., 6:08; Danny Grater, Fort Hays St., def. Mike Rogers, Carson-Newman, (by default).
Quarterfinals: Lamancusa def. Sundgren, 16-7; Eggers def. Smith, 6-4; Meneely def. Walker, 13-5; Grater def. Elg, 6-2.
Semifinals: Eggers def. Lamancusa, 10-6 (sudden victory); Meneely def. Grater, 8-4.
Final: Meneely def. Eggers, 4-2 (sudden victory).
First round: McCurdy pinned Fornal, 2:06; Jones def. Lybarger, 4-1; Jackson pinned Wald, 0:49; Ryzhov def. Rogers, (medical forfeit).
Second round: McCurdy pinned Elg, 1:39; Walker def. Jones, 11-5; Smith def. Jackson, 2-1 (tiebreaker); Ryzhov pinned Sundgren, 0:21.
Third round: Walker def. McCurdy, 2-1; Smith pinned Ryzhov, 3:30.
Semifinals: Lamanacusa def. Walker, 11-4; Smith def. Grater, 5-2.
Third place: Lamanacusa def. Smith, 8-6.
Fifth place: Walker def. Grater, 5-2.
Seventh place: Ryzhov def. McCurdy, 6-2.
First round: Josh Shields, Mercyhurst, def. Anthony Bradberry, Ashland, 9-2; Tim Matheson, Minn. St. Mankato, def. Troy Lussenhop, Fort Hays St., 5-1; Corey Van Groll, Wis.-Parkside, def. Seth Phalen, West Liberty St., 15-6; Tad Merritt, St. Cloud St., def. Skye Wells, Western St., 16-4; Tyler Tubbs, Minn. St. Moorhead, def. Jordan Larson, Colorado Mines, 10-5; Aaron Denson, Neb.-Omaha, def. Kyle Keane, Pitt.-Johnstown, 10-2; Taylor May, Neb.-Kearney, def. Phillip Downs, Northern St., 10-5; Brandon Kelly, Newberry, def. Justin Shannon, Findlay, 8-7.
Quarterfinals: Shields pinned Matheson, 6:54; Van Groll def. Merritt, 8-6; Denson def. Tubbs, 5-2; May def. Kelly, 10-1.
Semifinals: Shields def. Van Groll, 4-0; Denson pinned May, 6:58.
Final: Shields def. Denson, 5-0.
First round: Lussenhop def. Bradberry, 8-4; Wells def. Phalen, 14-9; Keane pinned Larson, 0:56; Shannon def. Downs, 6-3.
Second round: Kelly def. Lussenhop, 5-1; Tubbs def. Wells, 10-4; Merritt def. Keane, 6-1; Matheson def. Shannon, 3-2 (tiebreaker).
Third round: Tubbs def. Kelly, 11-6; Merritt def. Matheson, 6-4.
Semifinals: Van Groll def. Tubbs, 6-2; Merritt def. May, 7-5.
Third place: Merritt def. Van Groll, 9-2.
Fifth place: May def. Tubbs, 5-3.
Seventh place: Matheson def. Kelly, 7-3.
First round: Christopher Barrick, Shippensburg, pinned Ben Becker, Minn. St. Mankato, 0:55; Brett Hunter, Chadron St., def. Justin Ferguson, Ashland, 5-0; Mitch Norton, Upper Iowa, def. Josh Whitelock, Newberry, 3-0; Jesse Feinsod, N.M. Highlands, def. Tommy McCarty, Central Okla., 10-5; Kamarudeen Usman, Neb.-Kearney, def. Luke Rynish, Wis.-Parkside, 8-5; Jarret Hall, Minn. St. Moorhead, def. Adam Phillips, Belmont Abbey, 6-0; Ross Taplin, Neb.-Omaha, pinned Nick Ross, Western St., 2:20; Joeseph Shreckhise, Limestone, def. Derek Skala, St. Cloud St., 7-3 (tiebreaker).
Quarterfinals: Hunter def. Barrick, 13-3; Norton pinned Feinsod, 3:59; Usman def. Hall, 4-2; Taplin pinned Shreckhise, 0:12.
Semifinals: Hunter def. Norton, 5-3; Usman def. Taplin, 2-0.
Final: Hunter def. Usman, 3-2.
First round: Becker def. Ferguson, 7-4; McCarty pinned Whitelock, 1:16; Rynish def. Phillips, 12-3; Skala def. Ross, 3-1;
Second round: Shreckhise def. Becker, 9-4; McCarty def. Hall, 11-0; Feinsod def. Rynish, 4-2; Skala pinned Barrick, 6:12.
Third round: McCarty def. Shreckhise, 5-2; Feinsod def. Skala, 9-5.
Semifinals: McCarty pinned Norton, 3:45; Taplin pinned Feinsod, 0:23.
Third place: Taplin def. McCarty, 5-2.
Fifth place: Norton def. Feinsod, 6-4 (sudden victory).
Seventh place: Skala pinned Shreckhise, 6:32.
First round: Jacob Tazzi, Gannon, def. Tyler Gonzales, Fort Hays St., 3-2; Lucas Haag, Wis.-Parkside, def. Aaron Norgren, Minn. St. Mankato, 6-1; Kyle Sand, Adams St., def. Bryant Blanton, Newberry, 4-1; Nicholis Henning, Augustana (S.D.), def. Travis Barbarick, Central Mo., 7-2; Brent Pankoke, Neb.-Omaha, def. Tony Gehling, Upper Iowa, 11-3; Mitch Knapp, West Liberty St., def. Margues Gales, San Fran. St., 5-3; Brad Padgett, St. Cloud St., def. Hiram Smith, Findlay, 4-1; Larry Wilbanks, Western St., def. Landon Hall, Carson-Newman, 11-1.
Quarterfinals: Tazzi def. Haag, 7-5; Sand def. Henning, 6-5; Pankoke def. Knapp, 6-4; Padgett pinned Wilbanks, 6:17.
Semifinals: Sand def. Tazzi, 6-1; Pankoke def. Padgett, 4-0.
Final: Sand def. Pankoke, 6-4 (sudden victory).
First round: Norgren def. Gonzales, 6-4; Blanton def. Barbarick, 14-3; Gehling def. Gales, 8-0; Smith def. Hall, 7-2.
Second round: Wilbanks def. Norgren, 11-10; Blanton def. Knapp, 2-1 (tiebreaker); Gehling def. Henning, 13-4; Smith def. Haag, 10-5.
Third round: Blanton def. Wilbanks, 8-6; Smith def. Gehling, 7-5 (sudden victory).
Semifinals: Blanton def. Tazzi, 4-3; Padgett pinned Smith, 1:58.
Third place: Padgett def. Blanton, 15-3.
Fifth place: Smith def. Tazzi, 9-8.
Seventh place: Wilbanks def. Gehling, 8-0.
First round: Keeno Griffin, Newberry, def. Andrejs Zalaiskalns, Findlay, 5-3; Tyler Copsey, Augustana (S.D.), def. Matthew Farrell, Neb.-Kearney, 3-2; Josh Ohl, Ashland, pinned Zach Anderson, Anderson (S.C.), 0:39; Josh Majerus, Chadron St., def. Matt Nelson, Minn. St. Moorhead, 11-6; Luke McPeek, N.M. Highlands, def. Pat Mahan, Minn. St. Mankato, 11-4; Malcolm Briggs, Wis.-Parkside, def. Scott Snyder, Kutztown, 5-2; Donovan McMahill, Western St., def. Lucas Munkelwitz, St. Cloud St., 14-2; Jacob Marrs, Neb.-Omaha, def. Patrick Walsh, Pitt.-Johnstown, 6-4 (sudden victory).
Quarterfinals: Griffin def. Copsey, 5-3; Ohl def. Majerus, 9-7; McPeek pinned Briggs, 3:41; Marrs def. McMahill, 4-3.
Semifinals: Griffin def. Ohl, 6-4; Marrs def. McPeek, 15-7.
Final: Griffin def. Maars, 3-2.
First round: Farrell def. Zalaiskalns, 12-3; Nelson def. Anderson, 13-2; Mahan def. Snyder, 11-0; Walsh def. Munkelwitz, 4-3;
Second round: Farrell pinned McMahill, 1:33; Briggs def. Nelson, 14-4; Majerus def. Mahan, 8-0; Copsey def. Walsh, 5-2.
Third round: Farrell pinned Briggs, 5:54; Majerus def. Copsey, 4-1.
Semifinals: Farrell pinned Ohl, 5:51; Majerus def. McPeek, 15-0 (technical fall, 4:34).
Third place: Farrell pinned Majerus, 4:50.
Fifth place: Ohl def. McPeek, 1:19.
Seventh place: Copsey def. Briggs, (medical forfeit).
First round: Cy Wainwright, Newberry, pinned Jared Little, Northern St., 2:12; Steve Franklin, San Fran. St., def. Travis Clark, Findlay, 10-4; Brady Wilson, Minn. St. Mankato, pinned Cody Tominak, West Liberty St., 1:12; Anthony Lewis, Neb.-Omaha, def. Jeff Schossow, Adams St., 9-2; Charlie Alexander, Western St., def. Cody Beck, Central Mo., 3-3 (tiebreaker); Nail McGrath, Gannon, pinned Tim Johnson, Minn. St. Moorhead, 2:29; Dustin Finn, Central Okla., def. Jesse Boggs, N.M. Highlands, 11-5; Christopher Dempsey, Pitt.-Johnstown, pinned Lance Peters, Augustana (S.D.), 2:50.
Quarterfinals: Wainwright pinned Franklin, 1:33; Wilson def. Lewis, 5-4; Alexander def. McGrath, 5-2; Finn def. Dempsey, 2-1.
Semifinals: Wainwright def. Wilson, 8-0; Finn def. Alexander, 3-1 (sudden victory).
Final: Wainwright def. Finn, 6-4.
First round: Clark def. Little, 5-0; Schossow pinned Tominak, 0:39; Beck def. Johnson, 6-1; Boggs def. Peters, 6-2.
Second round: Clark def. Dempsey, 4-3 (tiebreaker); McGrath def. Schossow, 17-0 (technical fall, 3:00); Lewis def. Beck, 2-1; Franklin pinned Boggs, 2:00.
Third round: McGrath def. Clark, 5-2; Franklin def. Lewis, 7-5.
Semifinals: Wilson def. McGrath, 3-0; Alexander pinned Franklin, 2:25.
Third place: Wilson pinned Alexander, 1:01.
Fifth place: McGrath pinned Franklin, 2:55.
Seventh place: Lewis def. Clark, 5-3.
© 2010 The National Collegiate Athletic Association