Four Titles Earn North Texas GoGreco Championship Repeat
DALLAS – North Texas wrestlers won four weight classes and posted runner-up finishes in three others to retain its national title at the NCWA's GoGreco National Championships on Saturday.
The Eagles, with the tournament's deepest lineup and with two of its wrestlers unopposed in their brackets, scored 65 points to outdistance second-place Richland College's 37 points. Richland, which hosted the second-year tournament again, had one wrestler win a title and claimed one runner-up plus two thirds and two fourths. North Texas and Richland finished one-two in the inaugural GoGreco Championships last year as well.
Texas State, Texas-Arlington and Toledo each had wrestlers win GoGreco titles that gave each team eight points and a tie for third place overall. USC and Western University of British Columbia tied for sixth with seven points, and Texas Tech closed the field with six points and eighth place.
Ikaika Neal punctuated UNT's team title by winning the last of the Eagles' four individual titles, scoring a 12-0 win over runner-up Andres Briones of USC in the tournament's final match in the 130 kg class. Neal's two wins came by a combined 20-0 margin, and it was the first NCWA title of any kind for the junior from Mesquite, Texas, after a runner-up finish at 130 last year. Briones, a senior from Servite, Calif., finished as a two-time All-American, having won the 98 kg class last year.
Drake Dudley of UNT won the tournament's second-largest field, sweeping four matches in the 80 kg class for his first GoGreco national title. Dudley, from Flower Mound, Texas, bested Dustin Basham of Richland in the last round-robin match for the title. Basham, a sophomore from Trophy Club, Texas, was the GoGreco champion at 80 kg last year and now has two All-American finishes. UNT's Jake Wright took third with a 2-2 round-robin record for an All-American finish.
Scott Akers (71 kg) and Cassidy Collins (75 kg), both of UNT, each earned a second All-American finish by winning their weight classes unopposed. Akers was second at 75 kg in 2017, while Collins won the 71 kg class last year.
Dominic Vasquez of Toledo earned the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler award following a dominant run through the 85 kg weight class. Vasquez, a freshman from Temperance, Mich., posted 10-0 wins over runner-up Quinn Redmond of UNT and third-place Steve Rodriguez of Richland. Vasquez was Toledo's first entry into the GoGreco field.
Andrew Willi of Texas State became the young GoGreco Championships' most decorated wrestler by repeating his individual title at 59 kg. Willi won the same class last year wrestling for Houston and swept two matches over UNT's Foster Griffin by 10-0 counts in a best-of-three format. Willi is the only two-time national champion in the two years of the tournament. He topped Griffin, also a two-time All-American, for last year's title as well.
Garrett Hadley, the first GoGreco entry for Texas-Arlington, won the 98 kg class in the tournament's largest field with a 16-10 win over Kevin Marshall of Western University (B.C., Canada) in his last match. Hadley, Marshall and Texas Tech's Ali Aftabi each posted 4-1 records in the round-robin format, but Hadley, a sophomore from Weatherford, Texas, won first place on tiebreakers, with Marshall second and Aftabi, a freshman from Lubbock, Texas, third. All three earned All-America honors in their debut GoGreco tournament.
Asad Muhammad of Richland won the 66 kg class for his first All-American finish with a 2-0 sweep of UNT wrestlers Taylor Swanson and Jorge Vargas. Muhammad out-scored Swanson 16-11 in the last match to win the title. Swanson, a senior from Houston, Texas, is now a two-time GoGreco All-American after a second-place finish at 66 kg last year. Vargas also earned an All-American finish in his senior season.
The National Collegiate Wrestling Association created the GoGreco program to provide its membership the opportunity to develop in the Greco-Roman style with an eye for future competition in higher national and international events.
Now finishing its second year, the NCWA is committed to sponsoring a shortened GoGreco season running from March through June each year in cooperation with USA Wrestling. Each NCWA state and conference organization is encouraged to promote the GoGreco program.
Currently the GoGreco Nationals is an open-entry event to any NCWA member institution. All NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA programs that are not currently a member of the NCWA are encouraged to join the NCWA for the GoGreco season and send athletes to the GoGreco Championships. All GoGreco events are open only to NCWA members and their properly-qualified athletes in good standing with their member institutions and who meet certain academic and GPA standards to be eligible to compete.
1. North Texas - 49
2. Richland College - 37
3. Western Univ. - 10
3t. Texas State - 10
3t. Toledo - 8
6t. Texas-Arlington - 8
6t. USC - 8
8. Texas Tech – 5
Weight Class Results
Championship – Andrew Willi, Texas State, def. Foster Griffin, North Texas, 2-0 in best-of-three series (10-0 and 10-0 scores)
1. Asad Muhammad, Richland College (2-0 record in round-robin format)
2. Taylor Swanson, North Texas (1-1)
3. Jorge Vargas, North Texas (0-2)
Scott Akers, North Texas, unopposed
Cassidy Collins, North Texas, unopposed
1. Drake Dudley, North Texas (4-0 record in round-robin format)
2. Dustin Basham, Richland College (3-1)
3. Jake Wright, North Texas (2-2)
4. Izaiah Salazar, Richland College (1-3)
5. Brendan Medlin (0-4)
1. Dominic Vasquez, Toledo (2-0 record in round-robin format)
2. Quinn Redmond, North Texas (1-1)
3. Steven Rodriguez, Richland College (0-2)
1. Garrett Hadley, Texas-Arlington (won by tiebreaker with 4-1 record in round-robin format)
2. Kevin Marshall, Western Univ. (4-1)
3. Ali Aftabi, Texas Tech (4-1)
4. Dalton Madole, Richland College (2-3)
5. Ivan Storic, Texas-Arlington (1-4)
6. Luis Garcia, North Texas (0-5)
1. Ikaika Neal, North Texas (2-0 record in round-robin format)
2. Andres Briones, USC (1-1)
3. Ladarius Bennett, Richland College (0-2)