UNK looks to defend title

Kearney, Neb. – The Nebraska-Kearney wrestling team will enter this weekend's NCAA Championships in Cleveland as the nation's second ranked team. In the latest Division II Wrestling Coaches Association Top 20 poll, UNK received 152 points, eight behind the College of Notre Dame. The Cleveland-based Falcons have been No. 1 all year and received all eight first place votes this week. They have nine national qualifiers, the most in the country. Rounding out the top five are Lindenwood, Indianapolis, Western (Colo.) State and St. Cloud (Minn.) State. Individually, sophomore Daniel DeShazer (Wichita, Kans.) is back at No. 1 at 133 lbs. He is aiming to repeat as national champ. Michael Labry of Ashland is ranked No. 2; AU is the host school for the championships.

At 197 lbs., sophomore Romero Cotton (Hutchinson, Kans.) has been No. 1 all season. He finished second in the class last year; he beat 2nd-ranked Carl Broghammer of Upper Iowa in the Central Regional finals. Finally, California senior Patrick Martinez is again 4th at 174 lbs., Gering senior Brock Smith is 8th at 165 lbs. with Seward senior Mark Fiala 7th at 184 lbs. Also making the trip to Cleveland is Connecticut senior Brock Coutu (141 lbs.). UNK leaves early Wednesday morning for Ohio. The meet will be held today and Saturday.

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