SEWARD, Neb. – Three Concordia University wrestlers are getting set to head to Park City, Kan. The Hartman Arena will be the location for the 2021 NAIA Wrestling National Championship. This two-day event begins on Friday and ends on Saturday (March 5-6). Wrestling will get started at 9 a.m. CT on Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday.
This will be Concordia’s second time at the Hartman Arena. A year ago, 2020 the Bulldogs took eight wrestlers to nationals. Returning National Qualifiers include is junior Mario Ybarra (133) and senior Gabe Crawford (165). At the 2020 National Championship, Ybarra beat the No. 3 ranked wrestler Koby Milner of Reinhardt. Both wrestlers will make their second trip to nationals in hopes of becoming an All-American. Freshman Jacob Telles (285) is making his first trip to nationals.
The NAIA released the preliminary brackets on Feb. 26, seeding the top 12 qualifiers of each weight class. Ybarra is seeded sixth at 133 pounds and Telles is seeded 12th at 285 pounds. Crawford is going into the national tournament unseeded at 165 pounds. Heading into this weekend, they look to extend the program’s string of seven-straight years with at least one All-American. In the history of the program, 11 different individuals have combined for a total of 17 All-American Awards. In most recent history of the program Tanner Farmer (2020) was a 2020 national runner up at 285 pounds. Alberto Garcia (2020) took fifth place at 133 pounds.
The brackets are subject to change and are not considered official until ratified by the NAIA- Wrestling Coaches’ Association Bracketing Committee. Official brackets are planned for release on Thursday, March 4 at 7p.m CT on www.naia.org. The championship matches of each weight class will be Viewable Via ESPN3.com
2021 Concordia National Qualifiers
Mario Ybarra, Jr. I 133 I Scottsbluff, Neb.
*Second Nationals Appearance (2-2 Record at nationals)
2020-21 Record: 12-3
NAIA National Seed: Seeded No. 6
Potential First match: CJ Shadinger (Reinhardt) or Bobby Robinson (Ottawa)
Gabe Crawford, Sr. I 165 I Virginia Beach, Va.
*Second Nationals Appearance (1-2 Record at nationals)
2020-21 Record: 15-6
NAIA National Seed: Unseeded
Potential First Match: Elias Vaoifi (Missouri Valley) or Gavin Smith (Campbellsville)
Jacob Telles, Fr. I 285 I Albuquerque, N.M.
*First nationals Appearance
2020-21 Record: 33-11
NAIA National Seed: Seeded No. 12
Potential First Match: Maleek Caton (Williams Baptist) or David Toese (Graceland)
Concordia All-Time All-Americans
Ken Burkhardt Jr. (2015, 2016, 2017)
Giovanni Castillo (2018)
Kodie Cole (2015, 2016)
Tanner Farmer (2020)
Ceron Francisco (2015, 2017)
Alberto Garcia (2019, 2020)
Adam Joseph (2012)
Austin Mogg (2014)
Andrew Schulte (2015, *2016)
Julian Silva (2012)
Jacob Williams (2012)
*NAIA National Champion