Concordia wrestling team ready for national championships

By on Feb. 28, 2011 in Wrestling

Concordia wrestling team ready for national championships

Eight members of the Concordia University wrestling team will be making a trip to Iowa this week for the NAIA National Wrestling Championships held at the US Cellular One Center in Cedar Rapids.

In just their second season of competition, the young Bulldog squad has made their mark, finishing 3rd in the Great Plains Athletic Conference with 10 wrestlers placing in the conference tournament.  A total of three Bulldog wrestlers are seeded in their bracket at the national championships.

Sophomore Gordie Fowlkes (Newman Grove, Neb.) is making his first trip to the national championships.  Fowlkes placed three times in the Nebraska state tournament as a prep athlete.  This season, Fowlkes placed in five tournaments, including 5th in the GPAC and 3rd in the NAIA North Regional Championships.  Fowlkes has a 21-13 record at 125 pounds and is seeded at the national tournament.

Freshman Adam Joseph (Hastings, Neb.) is seeded at 133 pounds in the national championships.  Joseph, who placed 2nd in the Nebraska prep state championships as a senior, placed 3rd in the GPAC Championships as well as the NAIA North Regional Championships.  Joseph has posted a 28-10 record, one of the four best records in the nation at his weight class.  Joseph has placed in seven tournaments this season and is a strong contender for All-American honors.  Joseph leads the team in two and three point near falls and in riding time.

Travis Patrick (Castle Rock, Wash.) has qualified for the national championships at 133 pounds.  Patrick placed 2nd in the Washington State Wrestling Championships as a senior.  Patrick has a 17-18 record in his first collegiate season.  Patrick won the York College Open, defeating the number three, number two, and number one seeds to win the championship title at 133 pounds.

Alex Rostvet is a sophomore (Hastings, Neb.) who is making his first trip to the NAIA national championships.  Rostvet is a three-time Nebraska state placing finisher as a prep athlete.  He posted an 18-12 season record at 141 pounds.  Rostvet placed 3rd in the GPAC championships and 4th in the York College Open.

Brandon Starkey (St. Paul, Neb.) is making his second straight trip to the NAIA national championships.  Starkey posted an impressive 31-20 record as a sophomore, placing in the Knox Invite, Buena Vista Open, the York College Open, the North Country Open, the GPAC Championships and the NAIA North Region championships.  Starkey leads the team with 33 reversals and 57 escapes on the season.

Freshman Blake Augustyn (Ord, Neb.) posted a 21-20 record at 165 pounds.  Augustyn placed 2nd in the Nebraska State Wrestling tournament as a senior. Augustyn placed in the Simpson Invitational and in the Buena Vista Open as well as the GPAC Championships. 

Julian Silva (Covina, Calif.) leads the team with a 36-10 record at 197 pounds.  Silva has the most wins on record at the NAIA national tournament.  Silva is a two-time California Junior College All-American. Silva has placed in eight tournaments this season, including a 3rd place finish at the GPAC championships and a 2nd place finish in the NAIA North Regional championships.  Silva leads the team in wins, team points and takedowns and is nationally ranked in the NAIA at #11.

Heavyweight Frank Ayala (West Covina, Calif.) is a junior college All-American who transferred in to Concordia in January.  Ayala has a 16-8 record and has placed in three tournaments this season, including a 5th place finish in the GPAC championships. 

“We have had a great week of practice in preparation for this event,” noted head coach Doug Reese.  “We have had a tough, physical week of preparation, but probably the best week of peaking I have been around.  I really want to thank all of our team members for an excellent week of practice and for pushing our national qualifiers in practice each day.  I can’t get them any more ready.  Now it is time to perform.”

Wrestling starts at 11:00 am on March 3 and runs through the finals at 7:00 pm on March 5.