Vega, Beamon, Lobsinger advance to NAIA National Championships
Simpson University Sports News
GREAT FALLS, Mont. - In their first season as an NAIA wrestling program, the Red Hawks men’s wrestling team traveled to Great Falls, Mont., for the West Regional Championships on Saturday, Feb. 16. The young Red Hawks had battled through a grueling schedule in their first year to reach the national qualifier. Hopes were high for several Hawks, but the competition was some of the toughest in the nation. Though the West Region has the fewest schools of all four regions, they boast the highest percentage of national place-winners and returning All Americans. After a very challenging day of competition, three Red Hawk grapplers earned a trip to Iowa in two weeks for the NAIA National Championships.
Leading the way was 141 pounder Anthony Vega. The junior captain from Olivehurst, Calif., was 3-1 for the day and finished in third place. After defeating previously nationally ranked Gustavo Lopez of Menlo, 6-3, Vega's only loss came in the semi-finals, a decision by three-time All American and No. 1 nationally ranked Myles Mazurkewicz from Great Falls. In the consolation semi-finals Vega defeated Kyle West 7-3. West was a two-time California state placer in high school and a Division I transfer to Menlo. In his final match, Vega defeated Trace Gutknecht of Embry-Riddle 2-0.
Simpson 165 pounder, freshman Brady Beamon from San Diego, found himself in the deepest and toughest weight in the tournament. After a very physical semi-final loss to Shawn Lau of Great Falls, Beamon had to settle for sixth place. After the tournament, the coaches unanimously agreed that Beamon deserved one of the seven wildcard spots to nationals.
Heavyweight standout Austin Lobsinger, a freshman from West Valley High School, pinned Elliot Taylor of Embry-Riddle, but lost heart-breaker matches to nationally ranked Bubba Owens of Southern Oregon and Sears Tiernan of Great Falls. He had to settle for fourth place, which earn him an automatic place in the national tournament.
The three Red Hawks will travel to Des Moines, Iowa for the NAIA National Championships on March 1-2. The top eight finishers at Nationals will earn All American honors. For information on how to view the live coverage visit the NAIA website.
Written by Don Williams
Contact: Derrick Pringle, Jr.