Live Coverage: Track Wrestling (Video & Results)
SEWARD, Neb. – Bulldogs Mario Ybarra and Jacob Telles are gearing up for a return to Hartman Arena in Park City, Kan., location of the NAIA Wrestling National Championships for the third-straight season. The 65th annual NAIA wrestling tournament will take place Friday and Saturday (March 4-5). The first session on Friday is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. CT with session II slated for a 6 p.m. start. Action will then resume at 10 a.m. on Saturday. A total of 280 wrestlers makes up this year’s field.
Ybarra is a three-time national qualifier while Telles is headed to the national stage for the second time. Entering the 2022 national tournament, the Concordia University Wrestling program has placed at least one individual on the podium in eight-straight years. A native of Scottsbluff, Neb., Ybarra extended the streak last year by placing seventh at 133 pounds for his first career All-America award. Ybarra owns a career national tournament record of 5-4. He was one victory away from also earning an All-America plaque at 125 in 2020. Meanwhile, the heavyweight Telles (Albuquerque, N.M.) has his sights set on collecting his first career national tournament win.
The NAIA attaches seed rankings to the top 12 qualifiers in each weight class. Both Ybarra and Telles were unseeded in the brackets released on Feb. 25. In the history of the program, 12 different individuals have combined for a total of 18 All-America awards. Ken Burkhardt Jr. is the only Bulldog to achieve All-America status three times while Andrew Schulte (2016) is the program’s first and only national champion. Both Ceron Francisco (2017) and Tanner Farmer (2020) were national runners up as heavyweights.
Concordia’s school record for national qualifiers in a season is 10, achieved by the 2014-15 and 2015-16 squads. From 2014 through 2018, the Bulldogs placed in the top 25 at the NAIA National Championships each year: 22nd in 2014, 12th in 2015, eighth in 2016, 15th in 2017 and 22nd in 2018. After finishing 26th in 2019, Concordia jumped back up to 15th in 2020. The eighth-place claim in 2016 remains the program’s highest ever finish at nationals. That particular team put three individuals on the podium.
Brackets were verified and approved by the NAIA-Wrestling Coaches Association Bracketing Committee on Feb. 25. Previously, the 18-member committee consisting of conference raters and oversight members met to select the remaining at-large qualifiers. Next, the 18-member committee along with three new oversight members determined the ranking order of each weight class. This was used as the basis for the Bracketing Committee and later verified. The championship matches of each class will be viewable via ESPN3.com.
NOTE: Class listing reflects remaining athletic eligibility
Mario Ybarra, Jr. | 133 | Scottsbluff, Neb.
*Third nationals appearance (5-4 record at nationals)
2021-22 Record: 13-3
NAIA National Seed: Unseeded
First match: vs. (12) Joel Avila, Providence (Mont.)
Jacob Telles, Fr. | 285 | Albuquerque, N.M.
*Second nationals appearance (0-2 record at nationals)
2021-22 Record: 20-7
NAIA National Seed: Unseeded
First match: vs. (3) Tommy Mommer, Grand View (Iowa)
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)
Mario Ybarra (2021)
*NAIA National Champion