SEWARD, Neb. – Three Bulldogs will make their first-ever appearances at the NAIA Wrestling National Championships. Concordia will be represented on the national stage by Giovanni Castillo (125), Deandre Chery (174) and Chris Kimball (141). Each one earned automatic berths to the championship event via their performances at the GPAC championships on Feb. 17.
The 61st annual NAIA Wrestling National Championships will unfold on Friday and Saturday (March 2-3) inside the Jacobson Exhibition Center in Des Moines, Iowa. Action will begin at 10 a.m. CST on Friday. The national tournament was held in Topeka, Kan., in each of the previous four years. The 2018 national qualifying field includes 240 individuals from 43 different institutions.
Second-year head coach Andrew Nicola’s squad is coming off a 15th-place national championships finish in 2017 when heavyweight Ceron Francisco placed as the national runner up and 197-pounder Ken Burkhardt Jr. claimed the third All-America award of his career. The Bulldogs have placed inside the top 15 nationally in three-straight years having also taken eighth place in 2016 and 12th place in 2015. The No. 8 finish remains the best in school history.
133 – Giovanni Castillo (11-4) | Sr. | Ontario, Calif.
141 – Chris Kimball (16-17) | Jr. | San Marcos, Calif.
174 – Deandre Chery (24-13) | So. | Miami Gardens, Fla.
Ken Burkhardt Jr. (2015, 2016, 2017)
Kodie Cole (2015, 2016)
Ceron Francisco (2015, ^2017)
Adam Joseph (2012)
Austin Mogg (2014)
Andrew Schulte (2015, *2016)
Julian Silva (2012)
Jacob Williams (2012)
*National champion | ^National runner up