NWC Wrestles For Experience, Improvement In Great Falls
The Northwest College wrestling team picked up some wins and experience at weekend competitions in Great Falls, Montana.
The Trapper team won all three of their match-ups in Friday’s Battle of the Rockies Duals, then had four individuals crack the top six during Saturday’s University of Great Falls Open.
On Friday, NWC defeated a trio of four-year colleges, beating Simon Fraser (30-16), Embry Riddle (24-19) and Eastern Oregon University (26- 10).
The Trappers rotated their lineup between the duals, giving each member of the wrestling team experience and mat time while giving the team an opportunity to work on its depth.
At Saturday’s University of Great Falls Open, 18 teams competed. NWC placed seventh with 87 points while the Great Falls hosts won the event with 181 points.
Four of the 15 wrestlers on the NWC team — Justin Polkowske, Andrew VonRein, Heber Shepherd and Jeffrey Oakes — posted top six individual performances; two other Trappers also made an appearance on the mats during the tournament, wrestling unattached.
Polkowske battled his way back to third place at 157 pounds after losing his first match by a technical fall to James Williams of Embry Riddle. Polkowske received a bye in his first consolation round, then won the next four consolation rounds by decision.
After his opponent forfeited in the consolation semifinals, Polkowske claimed the bronze with a 4-2 decision over Kristian Holguin-Mendez of Oklahoma City.
VonRein, meanwhile, placed sixth out of 18 wrestlers in the 165-pound weight class.
After receiving a bye in the first round, VonRein won a 10-0 major decision over Wyatt Bedke of University of Great Falls before losing a 14-9 decision to Sam Goings of Embry Riddle.
VonRein rebounded to win two straight consolation matchups before losing a 4-0 decision to Brandon Davidson of Eastern Oregon and dropping the fifth-place match by medical forfeit to Tanner Anthony of McKendree.
This medical forfeiture was not for an injury per se, but intended to keep VonRein healthy for this weekend’s duals. Over the two days of competition, VonRein wrestled in a total of seven matches.
“Our objective is to get matches and improve and to get better in preparation for Clackamas,” said NWC wrestling coach Jim Zeigler.
Trapper Heber Shepherd took fourth place in the 184-pound weight class. Shepherd won his first round by a 7-4 decision and his quarterfinals match by a technical fall.
In the semifinals, Ben Stroh of MSU-Northern beat Shepherd by a 9-2 decision, the second time this season Stroh has emerged on top.
The loss to Stroh put Shepherd into the consolation semifinals, where he won by an injury default against Corey Hinkle of Lindsey Wilson. In the third place match, Shepherd lost to Josh Kim of Simon Fraser in a 3-1 decision.
At 197 pounds, Oakes took sixth place for the Trappers.
Oakes advanced to the semifinals with first-round bye, a 7-6 decision against Matthew Hopkins from the University of Great Falls and then a pin in the quarterfinals.
In the semifinal match, Evan Hudson of Oklahoma City bested Oakes in a 8-4 decision. Oakes then forfeited the fifth-place match to Hopkins.
“Didn’t want to take the chance of him getting hurt,” said Zeigler. “I felt like we got what we needed out of the tournament.”
Over the two days in Great Falls, Oakes wrestled a total of six matches.
“It’s a brutal tournament,” said Zeigler. “The brackets are tough.”
On Saturday, the NWC wrestling team heads to Clackamas, Oregon, to compete in duals against Clackamas Community College, Southwest Oregon Community College and Highline Community College.
Individual overall records
133 lb. Taylor Jeffries 2-2-1
141 lb. Carbon Kennington 1-2-1
141 lb. Colton Parham 0-2-1
149 lb. Garrett Wood 2-2-1
157 lb. Nic Urbach* 0-2-1
157 lb. Justin Polkowske 6-1-1
157 lb. Cameron Braden 0-2-1
165 lb. Andrew VonRein 3-3-1
165 lb. Tate Allison* 2-2-1
174 lb. Jade Green 2-2-1
174 lb. Reece Prosser 0-2-1
184 lb. Heber Shepherd 3-2-0
184 lb. William Kishpaugh 2-1-0
197 lb. Jeffrey Oakes 3-2-1
285 lb. Colton Horn 1-2-1
285 lb. Lisiate ‘Richard’ Anau 2-2-0
*Wrestled unattached | Wins-Losses-Byes