P O W E L L, W y o. - The Northwest College Trapper Wrestling Team validated their allseason- long number one ranking this weekend when they claimed the National Junior College Athletic Association Championship in Rochester, Minn.
To take the trophy, Northwest racked up 155.5 points, the most ever scored by a single team in the 44-year history of the national tournament. California's Lassen College was a distant second, posting 89.5 points, followed by Iowa Central Community College (87.5), North Idaho College (82) and Kansas' Colby Community College (78.5)
Northwest fielded three individual champions. Eric Sabot of Bismarck, N.D., won the 141- pound weight class; Robert Roszkiewicz of Warsaw, Poland, claimed the 197-pound supremacy; and Tyler Rhodes of Mountain View, Wyo., earned his second consecutive national championship at 285 pounds.
In addition to the top finishers, NWC placed five more wrestlers to cinch the championship. Utah natives Seth Wright of Elberta and Pat Sharp of Vernal each went to second place in their respective weights of 125 and 133 pounds.
Jacob Wright of Elberta, Utah, made it to third place at 157 pounds; and Kade Caturia of Lovell, Wyo., landed in fifth place at 165. Pete Julander, of Heber City, Utah, rounded out the NWC winners' circle with a seventh at 184 pounds.
Just when Trapper fans thought it couldn't get any sweeter, the frosting piled on even more when all eight wrestlers received All America status and their coach, Jim Zeigler, was named Coach of the Year.
The Trapper grapplers went into the preseason rated number one, a ranking they never surrendered through the entire year. At the regional showdown, they proved worthy of the ranking by qualifying a wrestler for all 10 weight categories at the national tournament.
Northwest College will officially recognize their national champions at a 7 p.m. reception Wednesday night, March 3, in the college's Cabre Gym.