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Grand Canyon Univ. wins 2014 NCWA team title with four individual champs

Grand Canyon University wrestling team, 2014 NCWA champions
Grand Canyon University wrestling team, 2014 NCWA champions
Grand Canyon University

Creating a huge gap from the rest of the field, Grand Canyon University won the 2014 National Collegiate Wrestling Association Championships in Allen, Tex. Saturday night.

GCU competed in the 2014 NCWAs because, as it transitions from NCAA Division II to Division I, it’s ineligible to compete in either division’s NCAA wrestling championships. (The NCWA provides post-season opportunities to programs in similar situations and those colleges and universities that don't have programs at the NCAA level.)

The Antelopes ran away with the team title with 254.5 points. Second-place Liberty University had 171.5, while Shorter, a NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) program transitioning to Division II, had 162.5.

Grand Canyon had seven finalists in eleven weight classes (the 235-pound bracket is unique to NCWA)… with four Antelopes leaving Texas with individual titles: A.J. Salazar at 125, Zach Zehner at 141 pounds, Matt Hamel at 149, and, at heavyweight, Peter Anguiano.

Liberty had one individual champ in Ryan Diehl at 133 pounds.

Third-place Shorter could claim titles at 184 and 235, thanks to Terrence Smith and Andrew Ewers.

Other wrestlers crowned champs at the 2014 NCWAs include Santiago Martinez of Central Florida (157-pound champ), U.S. Naval Prep’s Drew Daniels at 165, U.S. Military Prep’s Parker Maytrott at 174, and, at 197, Paul Ardila of Georgia.

Match Results -- Championship Finals

  • 125: Al Salazar (Grand Canyon) dec. Ben Smith (Shorter), 2-0
  • 133: Ryan Diehl (Liberty) dec. Sam Shames (MIT), 15-10
  • 141: Zach Zehner (Grand Canyon) maj. dec. Kyle Horr (Grand Valley State), 9-0
  • 149: Mike Hamel (Grand Canyon) dec. Luke Bilyeu (West Chester), 7-1
  • 157: Santiago Martinez (Central Florida) dec. Bryant Wood (Grand Canyon), 4-3
  • 165: Drew Daniels (U.S. Naval Prep) dec. Wally Figaro (Shorter), 3-2
  • 174: Parker Maytrott (U.S. Military Prep) dec. Martin Fabbian (Grand Canyon), 5-3
  • 184: Terrence Smith (Shorter) dec. Austin Gaun (Grand Canyon), 5-4
  • 197: Paul Ardila (Georgia) dec. Tyrell Walker (Central Florida), 3-2
  • 235: Andrew Ewers (Shorter) dec. Stuart Maddox (North Florida), 8-3
  • Hwt: Peter Angel Anguiano (Grand Canyon) pinned Rashied Rayford (Middle Tennessee), 3:26

Final Team Standings (Top 10 Placers)

  1. Grand Canyon, 254.5 team points
  2. Liberty, 171.5
  3. Shorter, 162.5
  4. Central Florida, 122
  5. Grand Valley State, 90.5
  6. U.S. Naval Academy Prep, 85.5
  7. Middle Tennessee, 84.5
  8. Apprentice, 75
  9. U.S. Air Force Academy Prep, 70
  10. U.S. Military Academy Prep, 65

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