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Grand View scores a three-peat, runs away with 2014 NAIA mat title

Isn't it grand: Grand View University wins its third consecutive NAIA wrestling championships
Isn't it grand: Grand View University wins its third consecutive NAIA wrestling championships
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics

Grand View University won its third consecutive team title at the 2014 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Wrestling Championships at Kansas Expocentre in Topeka Saturday night.

It was a win for the history books for the Des Moines-based school, which tallied a record-tying 193 team points to claim the championship… a record-breaking 108.5 points ahead of second-place University of Great Falls. (By contrast, at the 2013 NAIAs, Grand View was just eight points ahead of the second-place school.) Grand View is the fourth school in NAIA history to win three consecutive titles; the last to do it was Lindenwood (Missouri) which did it in the early 1990s.

Grand View had four national champs: Ryak Finch at 125 pounds, Brandon Wright at 141, Chad Lowman at 165, and Eric Thompson, who, with the win, became a three-time NAIA heavyweight champ. What’s more, Vikings head coach Nick Mitchell was voted as the NAIA National Coach of the Year.

In a battle of Montana-based schools, second-place Great Falls edged Montana State-Northern by just one point, 84.5 to 83.5. Neither school could claim an individual champ.

Last year’s runner-up, Southern Oregon, placed fourth this year with 80.5 points; the school’s Brock Gutches successfully defended his 174-pound title.

Coming in fifth in the team race with 73.5 points was Lindsey Wilson, which had Joe Cozart win the 157-pound crown, while Jameel Bryant repeated as champ at 184.

Other schools with individual champs included Baker (Bryce Shoemaker, 133) University of the Cumberlands (Jake Williams, 149), and Dickinson State (Jesse Hellinger, 197).

Match Results – Championship Finals

  • 125: Ryak Finch (Grand View) dec. Josh Heinzer (Midland), 9-3
  • 133: Bryce Shoemaker (Baker) dec. Justin Brooks (Indiana Tech), 3-0
  • 141: Brandon Wright (Grand View) dec. Gustavo Martinez (Grand View), 2-1
  • 149: Jake Williams (Cumberlands) dec. Colby Crank (Bethany), 9-2
  • 157: Joe Cozart (Lindsey Wilson) dec. Dallas Houchins (Grand View), 5-3
  • 165: Chad Lowman (Grand View) dec. Ethan Heinbauch (MSU-Northern), 7-5
  • 174: Brock Gutches (Southern Oregon) dec. Jared Miller (MSU-Northern), 3-2
  • 184: Jameel Bryant (Lindsey Wilson) dec. Cody Linton (Cumberlands), 6-5
  • 197: Jesse Hellinger (Dickinson State) dec. Stephen Loosbrock (Benedictine), 3-2
  • Hwt: Eric Thompson (Grand View) tech fall Courtney Freeman (Cumberlands), 17-2 (Baker), 2:00

Final Team Standings (Top Ten)

  1. Grand View University, 193 team points
  2. Great Falls, 84.5
  3. Montana State University-Northern, 83.5
  4. Southern Oregon, 80.5
  5. Lindsey Wilson, 73.5
  6. (tie) University of the Cumberlands/Missouri Valley, 59.5
  7. Indiana Tech, 56
  8. Morningside, 48.5
  9. (tie) Campbellsville/Embry-Riddle, 41.5
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