Bailey and Cooke added to list of national qualifiers

By Jacob Knabel on Feb. 22, 2016 in Wrestling

NAIA release

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University wrestling team’s list of NAIA national qualifiers grew to 10 on Monday. The NAIA national office officially announced the field of 240 qualifiers for the 2016 national championships set for March 4-5. That group includes eight Bulldogs who earned automatic bids as well as Tommy Bailey (165) and Travian Cooke (174), who were both added to the national field as at-large qualifiers.

The top-three place finishers in each weight class at the NAIA North National Qualifier hosted by Concordia on Feb. 20 received automatic berths to nationals. Four Bulldogs won NAIA North titles, two were runner-up finishers and two placed third to secure spots at the national championships. The 10 national qualifiers ties a program record set by head coach Dana Vote’s 2014-15 squad. All four Bulldogs who collected 2015 All-America plaques (Ken Burkhardt Jr., Kodie Cole, Ceron Francisco and Andrew Schulte) will make return trips to nationals next week.

Vote is essentially taking his entire starting dual lineup to the national tournament with a Bulldog represented at every weight class. Burkhardt Jr. is now a three-time NAIA national qualifier. Four Bulldogs will make their first-ever NAIA national championships appearances: Matt Atwood (184), Bailey, Foster Bunce (149) and Cooke.

For the third-straight year, the NAIA Wrestling National Championships will be held at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka, Kan. For more information on the championships, click HERE.

2016 Concordia national qualifiers
125 – Dmitri Smith
133 – Kodie Cole
141 – Andrew Schulte
149 – Foster Bunce
157 – Jr Lule
165 – Tommy Bailey
174 – Travian Cooke
184 – Matt Atwood
197 – Ken Burkhardt Jr.
285 – Ceron Francisco