SEWARD, Neb. – Idle since the Oklahoma City Duals on Dec. 17, the 19th-ranked Concordia University wrestling team is set to end its layoff this week at the annual National Wrestling Coaches Association National Duals. The event will take place Thursday and Friday (Jan. 4-5) inside War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Ind. In the first round of the National Duals, the Bulldogs have drawn seventh-ranked Life University (Ga.) in a dual to be contested at 8 a.m. CT / 9 a.m. ET on Thursday.
Second-year head coach Andrew Nicola’s squad owns a dual record of 3-3 with the wins coming over Dakota Wesleyan, 55-0, Bethany College (Kan.), 49-6, and Lyon College (Ark.), 34-18. Concordia remained on top of the GPAC ratings released on Dec. 27. Four Bulldogs were ranked individually in the NAIA national rankings announced on Dec. 29: No. 8 Giovanni Castillo (133), No. 12 Jon Lado (165), No. 19 Walker Fisher (174) and No. 10 Josh Nelsen (184).
Head coach Omi Acosta’s Running Eagles squad is headlined by top-ranked 197-pounder Dalton Bailey. Five of his teammates are also ranked nationally: No. 10 Mason Calvert (141), No. 3 Nosomy Pozo (149), No. 6 Kalob Rahoi (157), No. 4 Lucius Van Rensburg (165) and No. 3 Hunter Smith (184). Life placed ninth at the 2017 NAIA national championships. The Running Eagles are 4-1 in dual meets.
Depending upon first round results, Concordia will take on either fourth-ranked University of the Cumberlands (Ky.) or GPAC rival Midland at 12 p.m. CT / 1 p.m. ET on Thursday. The Warriors are led by former Bulldog head coach Dana Vote.
Concordia is also scheduled to host Midland next Friday (Jan. 12) inside Walz Arena at 7 p.m. CT.
Previous National Duals results
(11) Wayland Baptist – W, 36-7
(2) Indiana Tech – L, 19-30
(8) Missouri Valley College – L, 18-21
2016 – placed seventh
(14) Lindsey Wilson College – L, 18-19
Ottawa University – W, 41-3
(10) University of Great Falls – W, 28-19
(6) Life University – L, 15-27
(14) Lindsey Wilson – W, 19-15
(8) Cumberland University – L, 6-31
(14) Wayland Baptist University – W, 27-16
(9) Indiana Tech – L, 12-38