Six Bulldogs move to quarterfinals of Missouri Valley Invite

By on Jan. 16, 2015 in Wrestling

Six Bulldogs move to quarterfinals of Missouri Valley Invite

MARSHALL, Mo. – The 14th-ranked Concordia University wrestling team blazed through day one at the Missouri Valley Invite by sending six individuals to Saturday’s quarterfinals while going a combined 11-4 as a team in Marshall, Mo., on Friday night. The two-day tournament, hosted by Missouri Valley College, features wrestlers from 24 institutions and tracks team scoring.

Third-year head coach Dana Vote’s top-ranked NAIA North squad sits in sixth place with 24 team points.

“I feel good about where we sit,” Vote said. “We went through a real challenging stretch of training and you can see us start climbing up. We wrestled solid and were tough today.”

Wrestling at his third different weight of the season, sophomore Kodie Cole (3-3) dominated with a pair of pins as he began his advancement through the 133-pound bracket. The native of Palmdale, Calif., took care of Maryville’s Dakota Bauer (formerly of Iowa State University) in 4:25 prior to wiping out Justin Rodgers of Montana State-Northern in 2:54. Cole will draw Missouri Valley’s Brian Ha in Saturday’s quarterfinal bout.

“It was a great day for Kodie,” Vote said. “It was good to see him get down to a weight that suits him best. He’s been a huge team player for us. He’s made a lot of sacrifices for the team. Now it’s time for him to take care of himself. He was unseeded and now he’s in the quarterfinals.”

Vote also saw perfect days from some of his most highly-ranked grapplers. No. 4 (133) Emilio Rivera (20-5), No. 6 (141) Andrew Schulte (7-1) and No. 15 (149) Jr Lule (6-1) joined Cole in the quarterfinals of their respective weight classes. Lule and Schulte are now a combined 13-2 in their first two tournaments as Bulldogs. Both sat out the first semester schedule after transferring from California junior colleges.

“With Andrew and Jr, you can count on them coming out and competing at a high level,” Vote said. “They go hard for all seven minutes and always put themselves in solid position.”

Rivera, now on a six-match win streak, was particularly dominant as he triumphed by technical fall over both Hannibal LaGrange’s Brady Sloup and Dickinson State’s Cade Coles. Rivera, who hails from Escondido, Calif., moved to 43-13 in his Concordia career.

Later in the day, sophomore Ken Burkhardt Jr., ranked 12th nationally at 197 pounds, and freshman heavyweight DJ McIntyre gave Concordia its fifth and sixth quarterfinalists. McIntyre, now 16-10 on the season, made the biggest splash of the day by edging 10th-ranked Abram Reynolds of Briar Cliff in the second round. After receiving a bye, Burkhardt Jr. got past Truman State’s Helmut Rentschler, 7-5.

Four others donned the Bulldog singlet on Friday. Sophomores Dmitri Smith (125), Austin Fehlhafer (174) and Ceron Francisco (285) and junior Noel Richardson (285) all lost in their only matches on Friday. The quartet will drop to consolation brackets when the action resumes on Saturday.

Both Burkhardt Jr. and Rivera reached the 20-win plateau on Friday. They are tied with Ceron Francisco (20-11) for the most victories on the team. Rivera was last season’s GPAC wrestler of the year.

The two-day event picks up at 9 a.m. on Saturday from Marshall. The GPAC-leading Bulldogs will to add their season total of 18 tournament place finishes. Competing teams are allowed to bring 12 wrestlers and are able to double up at as many as two weights.

“It’s a great tournament. I’m really excited for tomorrow,” Vote said. “We’ll be going up against a lot of top-ranked wrestlers. There will big a lot of big matches that I’m excited to see.”

Saturday’s quarterfinal matches
 – Kodie Cole (Concordia) vs. Brian Ha (Missouri Valley)
133 – No. 4 Emilio Rivera (Concordia) vs. Adrian Gains (Oklahoma City)
141 – No. 6 Andrew Schulte (Concordia) vs. James Krischke (Maryville)
149 – No. 15 Jr Lule (Concordia) vs. Christian Franks (Menlo)
197 – No. 12 Ken Burkhardt Jr. (Concordia) vs. No. 3 Garrett Demers (Montana State-Northern)
285 – DJ McIntyre (Concordia) vs. No. 9 Daniel Mueller (Missouri Valley College)

Team scores after day 1
1. Grand View 42.5
2. Missouri Valley 35.5
3. Montana State-Northern 31.0
4. Maryville 28.5
5. Baker 28.0
6. Concordia 24.0
7. William Penn 22.0
8. Indiana Tech 19.5
9. Briar Cliff 18.5
9. Oklahoma City 18.5
11. Menlo 15.0
12. Dickinson State 13.5
13. Benedictine 13.0
14. Midland 10.5
15. Doane 9.5
16. Lindenwood-Belleville 9.0
17. Missouri Baptist 8.0
18. Truman State 6.0
19. Northwestern 5.0
19. St. Catharine 5.0
21. Bacone 3.0
22. Graceland 0.0
22. Hannibal LaGrange 0.0
22. Ottawa 0.0