bartonsports.com – The No. 14 ranked Barton Community College Wrestling team came away with an individual champion and seven national qualifiers as the Cougars placed fourth overall in the NJCAA West/Central District Championships held Saturday in Parsons, Kansas.
The Cougars had its streak of three straight District runner-up and Region VI titles come to an end as half of the ten competing teams ranked in the nation’s top twenty five. Defending champion No. 2 ranked Northeastern Oklahoma A&M won the title with 186 points, 9.5 more than runner-up and nationally 3rd ranked Northwest Kansas Technical College. Barton accumulated 124 points in the one day tournament, finishing a point shy to 12th ranked Cloud County Community College for the third placing.
Gage McBride won Barton’s lone title as the nation’s No. 5 ranked 174 division sophomore took down Northwest Tech’s 4th ranked Tsogtbayar Tserendagva in an epic 4-2 sudden victory. McBride piled up a 20-2 technical fall to begin the day over Labette’s Camron Sharp before pulling out an 11-9 victory over Cloud County’s Matthew Cruickshank to reach the title bout.
Four Cougars rebounded from a loss to march on to a third place finish. In the 133 division, 4th ranked Gage Gomez’ defense of the tile ended in the semifinals to top ranked Boo Dryden before ending the tournament with his second victory of the day over Labette’s Dillon Prutch.
Keaton Sander advanced to the 141 semifinals with a pin of 6th ranked Blake Hickerson of Cowley but couldn’t hold a slim lead over 2nd ranked Bat-Erdene Boldmaa of Northwest Tech to lose a 5-3 sudden victory heartbreaker. Recovering from the loss Sander won the next two including a 5-2 decision over Jett Merlo of Neosho for third.
In the 157 division, Andrew DeArmond was knocked from the championship bracket with a quarterfinal loss to the eventual second place finisher before winning his last two matches including a 4-2 decision over top seeded Antony Kinsey to wrap up the day.
Like Gomez and Sander, Joey Ewalt reached the semifinal round before having to win his final two 184 matches to take third with a 2-0 victory over Cloud County’s Cameron Young.
Kolby Droegemeier’s bid for the 149 division third place came up short to 5th ranked Enkhbold Sukhbaatar of Northwest Tech. Droegemeier was bounced from the championship side of the bracket in the semifinals to 4th ranked Kendon Lee.
Gable Howerton closed out the seven Barton qualifiers with a fifth place in the 165 division, clinching the berth as Cloud County’s Noah Aziere was forced to retire by injury.
Barton’s other three wrestlers missed the qualifying spots but still placed seventh in the district: Brian Gates (125), Kendell Johnson (197), and Jacob Robles (285).
Barton’s list of national qualifiers are: Gage Gomez (133), Keaton Sander (141), Kolby Droegemeier (149), Andrew DeArmond (157), Gable Howerton (165), Gage McBride (174), and Joey Ewalt (184).