By Austin Case Introduction to Journalism Student April 10, 2018
This year, NIACC’s wrestling team managed to qualify eight wrestlers for the national tournament held in Council Bluffs, IA February 23-24. Of those eight wrestlers, two earned All-American status, and one of those All-Americans earned a national title.
Austin Anderly, a NIACC sophomore, placed first at the NJCAA national wrestling tournament earning himself the title of national champion and All-American. Anderly defeated Lincoln’s Christian Kanzler 3-2 in the 141 lb. championship.
“Austin has always worked hard during practices,” Ryan Fought, a teammate of Anderly’s and a national qualifier, said. “If anyone on this team deserved that title, it was him.”
Noah Jackson, NIACC’s 157 lb. freshman, also returned home with All-American honors as he placed 7th at the tournament. Jackson qualified for the tournament as an extra wrestler. This was his first year of college wrestling. Mark Gonzalez, a fellow national qualifier for the Trojans, said, “Since Noah came into the tournament as an extra wrestler, it was especially impressive to see him get that far. It’s a great honor that he earned.”
Other NIACC wrestlers competing at the national tournament were Jimsher Sidhu (285 lb.), Ryan Fought (165 lb.) Mark Gonzalez (125 lb.), Robert Rodriguez (149 lb.), Tavion Askew (174 lb.) and Sedrak Sheppard. (197 lb.).
McKinley Hawe, a roommate of Gonzalez and Fought, is very proud of his fellow students. “I think they are very talented individuals,” said Hawe. “I was glad to see them succeed and go as far as they did through their seasons.”
NIACC managed to place 17th in team standings at the tournament with its eight national qualifiers. The team earned 34.5 points throughout the tournament.