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Grand View Vikings-NAIA Wrestling Champions

March 4, 2012

When Head Coach Nick Mitchell took the Grand View job after being an assistant at NCAA D3 power Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, I’m not sure how quickly he felt a national title could be won. Turns out it would take four years. An incredible accomplishment. In that short amount of time, Grand View wrestling is KING. Prior to Grand View starting wrestling in 2008, Des Moines had been without collegiate wrestling since Drake cut their program back in 1993.

In 2009 (year one of the program), Grand View scored it’s first ever individual champion. Matt Burns took home the 149 lb title. He would win another 149 lb title in 2011. Glenn Rhees won the program’s 2nd title in 2010 at 174 lbs. The team finished 8th in 2009, 9th in 2010 before their 5th place finish in 2011.

Last season’s 5th place finish had the program built for success in 2012. The team won their 1st ever national tournament in early January at the National Duals in Springfield, Illinois, upsetting then #1 Great Falls, MT in the championship match 31-7. The Vikings finished the dual meet season unbeaten at 13-0.

Twelve Vikings qualified for this year’s tournament. Two won individual titles: Omi Acosta (133) and Eric Thompson (HWT). Brad Lower (165) and Derek Nightser (197) were runners up. 5 others made All-American status (finishing in the top 8): Gustavo Martinez (141), TJ Moen (149), Chad Lowman (157), Jimmie Schuessler (157), and Ty Knowler (174).

Congratulations to the individuals on this team who went out and dominated for 3 days in their backyard at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. The more impressive thing to me is the fact these Vikings went 8-2 in Saturday’s consolation matches. That shows how much these wrestlers knew the importance of the TEAM concept.

Eric “Bear” Thompson also won NAIA National Wrestler of the Year. Thompson was an absolute beast at nationals.  He had four falls and major decision.  Thompson finished it off with a pin of his opponent in 1:57 to claim his championship match.

Mitchell wins NAIA Coach Of The Year. A total no brainer for what Nick has put together at Grand View in a very short amount of time. Great work also by assistant coaches Paul Reedy, Grant Turner, Jake Helvey, Michael Billings, Justin Hanson and Jordaryl Logan.

OUTSTANDING job as a whole by the Grand View Vikings! Great job men! NAIA National Wrestling Champions!

Final Team Standings

Grand View      172

So Oregon       141

Campbelllsville 121.5

Lindsey Wilson 96.5

Oklahoma City  94

From → Grand View

One Comment
  1. The team celebrates their win here:

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