Menlo College heavyweight Scott Brasil reprised his NAIA West Group title to lead a contingent of six Oaks' wrestlers who qualified for the national tournament, which begins March 7 in Topeka, Kan.
Brasil was joined by Troy Lakin, Steele Escobdeo, Jason Ladd, David Rios and Eric Lopez, who all placed in the top four of their resoective divisions at the qualifying tournament, hosted by Menlo.
Scott Brasil/Menlo Athletics
Brasil started his day with a 12-6 decision win over Jorrell Jones of Montana State Northern to advance to the finals, where a late takedown netted him a 3-2 decision over Austin Lobsinger of Simpson to claim his second straight West Group title.
Lopez also qualified for nationals for the second straight. The top-ranked 165-pounder was 3-1 on the day, suffering his first loss since November in a 6-5 decision to UGF's Shawn Lau in his second match of the day.
Despite the loss, Lopez was able to rally with decisive wins over Jesse Routsong (5-1) and Garrett Urrutia (9-3) to place third. Lopez, finished second in the nation at 165 pounds last season, earning All-American status.
Rios, wrestling at 157 pounds, won a 10-7 decision over Simpson's Richard Ortiz in the quarterfinal and then punched his ticket to the finals with a 10-6 win over Chad Cebulski of Great Falls in the semifinals.
Rios ran into fourth-ranked Edward Cheff of Montana State-Northern in the finals and fell 4-0. His second place finish notches Rios' second career trip to the national championships.
Lakin rattled off three wins, all by decision, to finish 3-1 on the day. The freshman earned a 10-3 decision over Simpson's Mason Sauseda to start the day, then fell, 4-3, to Sean Silva of Embry-Riddle.
Lakin recovered to win two straight, beating Ty Young (3-2) and Mason Sauseda (9-3) to earn a third-place finish.
Escobedo, also a freshman, was 3-1 for the day, with decisions over Anthony Vega (Simpson), Trace Gutknecht (ERAU) and Vega again in the third place match.
Ladd qualified with a fourth place finish. He earned a major decision over Simpson's Marco Fratantoni and then fell to eventual champion Ryan Martin before winning his next two matches to advance to Topeka.
Menlo finished tenth at last year's championships.