Greco News

1st Ever NCWA Greco-Roman College Nationals Now Quietly In the Books

ncwa greco-roman college nationals
Photo: Holly Veenis

Over a weekend in Akron that included plenty of notable performances along with the unveiling of a new Cadet World Team, it was going to be hard for the first annual NCWA Greco-Roman College Nationals to get a lot of attention, anyway. Throw in the fact that the event, held at Richmond College in Texas, was not the beneficiary of a live stream (or substantial coverage of any sort), and the tournament all but operated in an echo chamber. These were going to be hurdles going in, though not important ones. The NCWA needed a baseline and after Saturday’s running of their inaugural Greco-Roman national tournament, they got what they were looking for.

All eight weight classes from 59 to 130 kilograms were contested with each bracket a round-robin format. Turnout just wasn’t that high. The most athletes any weight class offered were four, the least, two. Out of the 36 total matches the NCWA Greco-Roman College Nationals that took place, only three went the distance. That, too, was to be expected. NCWA Executive Director Jim Giunta said last week, pertaining to the uber-developmental nature of the tournament, that “This isn’t an event like the one we hold in Ohio (Akron’s University Nationals — Ed.). This is more for the second-tier Greco-Roman athletes to have fun and learn while competing before they go to Ohio , where they can really show off and maybe get invited to the training center.”

Even with the very quiet rollout of the tournament on Saturday and overall mixed results, there is little doubt that what Giunta said offers a lot of truth. And a lot of potential. Another college-aged Greco-Roman tournament in the United States that speaks directly to athletes who have been either reluctant to participate in the the style or are reaching stages of their wrestling careers where options to continue competing may be limited is nothing but a good thing. Hopefully, 2018’s edition brings with it more advanced notice and therefore, more traction.

“I think it’s great that we have more athletes wrestling Greco-Roman,” US National Team head coach Matt Lindland said. “We have more athletes wrestling Greco-Roman, period. And there’s a chance that one of these guys in the NCWA wants to continue wrestling. I’m sure they have some good athletes in these programs. Obviously, they want to compete, so I’m glad they are doing it in Greco-Roman.”

2017 NCWA Greco-Roman College Nationals Results

59 kg
Gold: Andrew Willi (University of Houston)
Silver: Foster Griffin (UNT)
Bronze: Greg Weasah (RLC)

66 kg
Gold: Paul Adkisson (UCLA)
Silver: Taylor Swanson (UNT)

71 kg
Gold: Cassidy Collins (UNT)
Silver: Champ Darabundit (USC)

75 kg
Gold: Noah Villemarette (Texas State University
Silver: Scott Akers (UNT)
Bronze: Youssef Aref (UCLA)

80 kg
Gold: Dustin Basham (RLC)
Silver: Kris Bickham (UNT)
Bronze: James Moore (RLC)

85 kg
Gold: Michael Lopez (University of Southern California)
Silver: Matt Gonzales (RLC)
Bronze: Luis Garcia (UNT)

98 kg
Gold: Andres Briones (USC)
Silver: Andy Martinez (RLC)
Bronze: Sergio Aguilar (UNT)

130 kg
Gold: Donavan Lozada (STCC)
Silver: Ikaika Neal (UNT)
Bronze: Kendrell Willis (RLC)

Team standings

1. North Texas — 55
2. Richland College (Texas) — 34
3. USC — 27
4. UCLA — 15
5. Springfield Tech CC (Mass.) — 10
5. Texas State — 10
5. Houston — 10
8. Grays Harbor College (Wash.) — 0

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