PELLA, Iowa (Duhawks.com) - Following a Friday night dual setback loss to #3 Wartburg on Friday night, several Duhawk wrestlers traveled to Pella for the Central Last Chance Invitational. The Duhawks crowned six champions in total.
Zeke Smith opened his day with back-to-back pins against Nathan Bednarczyk of Cornell College (4:26) and Brandon Foster of Buena Vista (5:15). Smith was then crowned champion of the 125# bracket due to medical forfeit over his Duhawk teammate, Duncan McCain.
Zach Licht won the 133# bracket, which began with a fall over Raul Marrero of Truman (:40). His next two bouts came against teammates, both of which ended in forfeits.
Frankie Indelli won the 141# bracket with three wins, two of which came by bonus points. Indelli took care of Zander Coakley of Graceland first with a 16-0 tech fall. He then defeated Nile Laguna from Dubuque by fall (4:00) before claiming the title with a 9-3 win by decision over Klayton Keller of Cornell.
In the 149# bracket, Adam Valdez began his day with a bye before defeating Jaylon Andrews from Lincoln College by fall (2:59). He defeated his teammate, Brock Turner, by decision (7-4). In the title bout, Valdez defeated Joe Eads, who wrestled unattached, by decision (4-2).
The Duhawks' success continued into the 165# bracket with Tad Griffith taking the title. Griffith won all three of his bouts by bonus points, beginning with Justus Sheppard of Lincoln College who he defeated by fall (2:48). He then breezed by Josue Garza of Buena Vista with a 16-0 tech fall victory and then concluded his day with a win by fall (5:41) over Zach Taylor from Truman.
Loras' final champion came in the 174# bracket with Alex Ward winning all four of his bouts, two coming via bonus points. Ward cruised through Andrew McCracken of Central, pinning him in the first period and then followed it up with a 9-2 win by decision over Parker Preul from Buena Vista. Ward claimed another victory by fall (3:50) over Malik Milazzo of Dubuque before taking the championship with a 4-3 win by decision over Wylie Allen from Cornell.
The Duhawks will return to the mat on Feb. 23 and 24 for the NCAA Lower Midwest Regional held at the Five Flags Center in downtown Dubuque. The top three finishers in each of the 10 brackets qualify for the 2019 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships in Roanoke, Va. Action begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday.