PARK CITY, Kan. – The 2022 season is in the books for the Concordia University Wrestling team. National qualifiers Jacob Telles and Mario Ybarra both claimed one win on Friday (March 4) at the 2022 NAIA Wrestling National Championships held at Hartman Arena in Park City, Kan. Ybarra made his third career appearance on the national stage while Telles made the journey for a second season in a row.
The journey concluded in session I on Friday. It wasn’t the ending Coach Tyree Cox and company had hoped for, but there’s a lot of pride in what Ybarra and Telles have accomplished as Bulldogs.
“Both guys had really tough draws, but we thought we had a good chance,” Cox said. “They had very close matches out of the gate. I’m really proud of the effort both guys showed. They continued to fight until the whistle. That’s what we love about them and that’s why they’re leaders on this team.”
Unseeded at 133 pounds, Ybarra hoped to reach the podium like he did in 2021 when earned a seventh place All-America finish. The margins were razor thin on Friday. The Scottsbluff, Neb., native drew University of Providence (Mont.)’s 12th-ranked Joel Avila and fell by a 3-1 decision. Ybarra proceeded to beat Reinhardt University (Ga.)’s Michael Land in sudden victory, 6-4. Ultimately, Ybarra’s career came to a close with a 6-4 loss at the hands of Dominick Arellano of Baker University (Kan.). Ybarra will graduate from the program with the fourth most wins (76) in school history.
In the heavyweight bracket, Jacob Telles had the task of going up against third-seeded Tommy Mommer of Grand View University (Iowa). Telles competed hard in a 6-3 defeat. He then rebounded with a pin of Bethany College (Kan.)’s William Mason. With his season on the line, Telles met a familiar foe and was edged by Doane’s Brandon Antesberger. A Second Team All-GPAC honoree, Telles has produced 54 career victories. The win over Mason marked Telles’ first ever on the national stage.
A staple of the program, Ybarra will go down as one of the greats – and not just for what he’s achieved on the mat. He’s served as an exemplary leader and has been recognized in the past as an NWCA Scholar All-American and a CoSIDA Academic All-District award winner.
“It was kind of surreal when it happened,” said Cox of Ybarra’s elimination from the tournament. “I just gave him a hug and told him how much he means to this program. There’s not going to be another Mario to come around. Both guys showed a lot of commitment. Jacob has a lot of promise. The future’s bright for him. We’re making progress and we’re making strides.”
Between Ybarra and Telles, Concordia generated three team points. Its final team placement in the NAIA will be determined after Saturday’s results at the national tournament. Looking ahead to the 2022-23 campaign, the Bulldogs will have a new head coach leading the program.