The NAIA released the qualifiers for the 2011 NAIA Wrestling National Championships on Wednesday. The 54th annual event will take place at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, from March 3 – 5. The first of six sessions is set to get underway at 11 a.m. CST on March 3. Official brackets will be posted on March 2.
Concordia University qualified eight individuals to the National Championships. Juniors Frank Ayala (West Covina, Calif.) and Julian Silva (Covina, Calif.) qualified for the Bulldogs. Ayala is 15-4 on the year at heavyweight. Silva is 31-11 at 197 pounds and leads the team in wins, team points, decisions, and most falls. Silva finished second at the NAIA Northern Qualifier and enters the NAIA Championships ranked 11th nationally at 197 pounds.
Other qualifiers for Concordia include sophomores Gordie Fowlkes (Newman Grove, Neb.), Alex Rostvet (Hastings, Neb.) and Brandon Starkey (St. Paul, Neb.). Fowlkes (125 pound class) is 18-12 on the year and placed fourth at the NAIA Northern Qualifier. Rostvet (141 pound class) is 12-9 on the year, and Starkey (149 pounds) takes a 28-17 record into the Championships. Starkey finished sixth at the NAIA Northern Qualifier and is now a two-time national qualifier.
A trio of freshmen also qualified for Concordia. Adam Joseph (Hastings, Neb.), Travis Patrick (Castle Rock, Wash.) and Blake Augustyn (Ord, Neb.) have enjoyed impressive rookie seasons for the Bulldogs. Joseph (133 pounds) is 27-10 on the year. He finished third at the NAIA Northern Qualifier and has placed in seven meets this year. Patrick (133 pounds) takes a 15-19 record into Nationals, and Augustyn (165 pounds) is 17-18 on the year for Concordia.