bartonsports.com – The No. 6 ranked Barton Community College Wrestling team captured its third straight Region VI Championship with a runner-up finish Saturday in Goodland, Kansas, in the NJCAA West/Central District Championships. The Cougars piled up a program best 173.5 points putting five in the championships, finishing only behind the 209.5 points from top ranked Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College.
Qualifying nine of its ten wrestlers, Barton’s five championship match entries produced three individual champions as the Cougars added two third places and one fourth and fifth place finishes. The Cougars led the event in multiple categories including fourteen pins and five tech falls to rack up 265 match points.
David Kelly led the champion trio with his second straight 174 division championship knocking off the nation’s second ranked Devin Crawl of NEO in a convincing 9-0 major decision. Getting to the finals with 23-8 tech fall and a 2:14 fall, the Wichita sophomore was named the Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament award marking the third straight year a Cougar was voted the honor.
Speaking of upsets, no one had a more difficult road to the championships than 133 pound Gage Gomez. The reigning Kansas Cup champion began his day with a 16-0 tech fall before facing two ranked opponents to reach the title match. Pulling off a 12-8 decision to dethrone No. 3 ranked Munkhbat Bat-erdene of Northwest Tech, the Altus, Oklahoma, native earned a hard fought 8-7 decision over NEO’s Jack Karstetter to complete the championship run.
Two hometown products also reached the championship match with older brother Kade Sander protecting his 157 pound No. 1 national ranking in dominating fashion of two pins, a 20-2 tech fall, and an eventual 18-2 tech fall title victory over NEO’s Zeke Rubio. Younger brother Keaton, who is ranked No. 6 in the 141 division, nearly pulled off two titles for the Sander family rolling to the finals with two pins but lost a tough 6-4 match to NEO’s No. 3 ranked Cody Karstetter.
Barton’s fifth athlete into the finals was in the 197 division as Ethan Dean’s path consisted of a 5-1 decision and 2:22 pinning before coming up short 4-1 to NEO’s Zeke Silva.
Barton’s list of national qualifiers are: Andres Duron (125), Gage Gomez (133), Keaton Sander (141), Kade Sander (157), Gage McBride (165), David Kelly (174), Trent Miles (184), Ethan Dean (197), and Brix Brickey (285).