Liberty’s 7 – 1 Finals Run Clinches Collegiate Cup, Carter Wins MOW Again; Big Bend CC Takes Women’s Title
ALLEN, Texas – Liberty erased almost every opponent with a 7-1 run through its finals matches to capture the NCWA Championship on Saturday.
The rest of the wipeouts came within the association’s record book. The Flames broke or tied at least five NCWA team and individual records during one of the most dominating tournaments in the association’s 25-year history. Liberty punctuated its 11th NCWA season with its fifth team title, which ties with Grand Valley State for the most all-time among NCWA programs, and its seven national champions broke its own record for most in one season.
“We didn’t get to wrestle last year and we didn’t like it,” Liberty head coach Jesse Castro said. “So we saved up a little bit from last year and used it here.”
Liberty amassed 229 team points to earn the title, its highest NCWA Championships point total in program history backed by 12 All-Americans, the fourth-most of any NCWA season.
Jeffrey Allen led the way for Liberty with a third consecutive national title at 235 pounds. He and Ty’Rae Carter of Texas A&M highlighted the individual efforts as Carter joined Allen by winning the 149 bracket for a third time. Together they are the fifth and sixth wrestlers to win three national titles in NCWA history.
Carter set another record in gaining the Most Outstanding Wrestler Award for a third consecutive season, another NCWA first. His aggressive style led him to three technical falls in the bracket (18-2, 25-10 and 24-8) to go with a 9-0 major decision in the semifinals and an 11-second pin in Thursday’s opening rounds. He was all over Akron’s Andrew Halko in the title match before taking another tech fall with a 22-7 victory.
“I take what the opponent gives me,” Carter said of his aggressive style. “If I can get a fall I’ll try. But I aim to score and so those scores are a result. I coach a lot of youth in the Houston area and in College Station. I know they’re watching me so I have to set an example for them to keep charging.”
Apprentice took second overall with 133.5 points but was still able to hold off Grays Harbor College (Wash.) despite being stung with losses in all four of its final matches. Grays Harbor was third at 127. The Penn State Wrestling Club won the Division II championship for a fourth consecutive seasons – the first time that’s happened – with 106 points, gaining just enough points through the placing matches to fend off Ohio State WC, which led the Division II standings until Saturday morning’s session.
The women’s division was a three-team race commanded by Big Bend CC (Wash.) at the top. The Vikings ran away with the title with 115.5 points followed by Ottawa Arizona in second with 73.5 and Grays Harbor with 72.5.