MARSHALL, Mo. – After the dust had settled on day one of the Missouri Valley Invite, four Bulldogs remained alive in a loaded field of NAIA competition. Collectively, seven representatives of the Concordia University wrestling program combined for a record of 11-10 during Friday’s (Jan. 19) action in Marshall, Mo. With many of the top wrestling schools in the NAIA present at the event, the Missouri Valley Invite serves as a preview of what is to come at the national championships in March.
Assistant coach Levi Calhoun accompanied the team to the invite. Said Calhoun, “I think it went pretty well. Even the guys who got beat out still gave great effort. We just didn’t come up on the right end of some matches. Chris Kimball had a great win over a Briar Cliff kid that was an All-American – a really dominating win. Josh Nelsen had a great day. Those two guys are leading the pack for us right now.”
Both Kimball (141) and Nelsen (184) made their way to the quarterfinals of their respective brackets. Kimball emerged with the team’s signature win of the day when he defeated third-ranked Sonny Gulesian of Briar Cliff by an 8-1 score. That victory came on the heels of a pin over Reinhardt University’s (Ga.) Curtis Doctor. Kimball was then pushed to the backside of the bracket due to a loss to No. 15 Grayson Brenna of Grand View in the quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, Nelsen pinned Wayland Baptist University’s (Texas) Cutter Cox and then edged Midland’s Gage Hartline, 8-6, on his way to the quarterfinals. That’s where he fell by a 5-0 decision at the hands of ninth-ranked Tristan Ramberg of Missouri Valley.
All seven Bulldogs to wrestle on Friday earned at least one win. Sophomore Cam Devers (141) and junior Walker Fisher (174) also lived to fight another day. On the other hand, Jerry Stepps III (125), Jared Woods (157) and Darrin Miller (184) have been eliminated from the invite. Each of those three went 1-2 on the day.
The second and final day of the Missouri Valley Invite is set to get underway at 9 a.m. CT on Saturday. Missouri Valley will have a live webcast HERE. Live scoring can be followed by visiting TrackWrestling.com.