Winona State competes in its first NCC tournament

03/04/2008 -

The Winona State Wrestling Club traveled to Columbus Ohio this weekend to compete in its first year in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association North Central Conference Tournament. The top 7 place winners in this tournament qualify for the national tournament in Lakeland Florida from March 13-15. Due to injuries and other spring break plans the Winona State Club team only sent 4 competitors to the tournament which included 2-time defending NCWA champion Grand Valley State University. Even with a short squad the WSU Warriors put on an impressive display knocking off many quality wrestlers during the day and qualifying 3 out of 4. The first competitor who qualified for nationals was Alex McCullough at 133# who finished 6th. He has worked hard during the year and was very happy with his place. Nathan Klaphake at 149# was not as lucky as he lost two very close matches and just could not get it done. The second qualifier for Winona State was Kevin Raasch at 197# who pinned 3 opponents and knocked off the 6th and 3rd seeds before he lost to 2007 All-American Kelvin Miller from Grand Valley State in the semi-finals 7-4. Kevin finished 4th losing by 3 in the 3rd place match. The last qualifier for the Winona State Club team was Josh Arndt at 235#. Josh also had an impressive run beating the 6th seed and 3rd seeds before getting pinned in the semi-finals. Josh then came back with a vengeance and won his wrestleback matches taking home 3rd place.
Team scores were kept and Grand Valley State ran away with the Conference title with 219 points. 2nd was Miami of Ohio with 78 and University of Toledo with 74.5. Even with only 4 competitors Winona State finished respectably in 10th place with 38.5 points only 1 point behind Wisconsin Milwaukee and was only 2.5 points behind The Ohio State Club team in 7th place. There were 16 teams at the tournament.