Four Menlo wrestlers earn spots at NAIA nationals


Troy Lakin and Steele Escobedo each won a regional title and Menlo College qualified four wrestlers into the NAIA national tournament following the West National Qualifier hosted by Embry-Riddle on Saturday.

Lakin continued his impressive season, taking top honors in one of the toughest divisions in the tournament at 125 pounds. Escobedo earned his title at 141 pounds.

Troy Lakin
Joseph Jauregui (165 pounds) and Justin Lozano (174 pounds) each placed second to punch their tickets to Topeka, Kansas for the nationals March 4-5.

Menlo may have an additional three wrestlers qualify via wildcard entry, to be determined Tuesday.

Menlo finished fourth, scoring 106.5 points. Montana State-Northern claimed top honors with152.5 points, edging Southern Oregon.

Lakin blazed his way through a talented field that included the third, fourth and fifth ranked wrestlers in the nation.

He began the day by pinning Isaac Wilson of University of Great Falls in 58 seconds. Lakin followed that with a 12-5 decision over Casey Coulter of Southern Oregon to set up a rematch against familiar opponent and fourth-ranked Luke Schlosser of University of Great Falls.

Lakin defeated Schlosser twice in one weekend in early January and earned his latest win in dramatic fashion.

The bout went overtime before Lakin pulled off a 4-2 sudden victory to earn his spot in Topeka.

Escobedo, ranked No. 10 at 141 pounds, became a region champion by winning a pair of matches. He began the day with an 8-2 decision over Justin Whitman of Great Falls to set up a duel with sixth-ranked Andrew Burr in the finals. Escobedo won a razor thin 4-3 decision over Burr to claim top billing.

Freshman Joseph Jauregui, ranked No. 14, began the day with a tech fall over Jesse Johnson of Warner Pacific. He then earned a huge win in the semifinals over No. 8 Khaldoon Rashid of University of Great Falls.

Jauregui gave top-ranked Blake Cooper of Warner Pacific a battle before dropping a 5-3 decision.

The second-ranked Lozano opened with a tech fall over Cesar Rodriguez-Luna of Warner Pacific and followed that with a tech fall of No. 15 Michael Ayala of Great Falls. He lost, 6-4, to No. 7 Willie Miller of Montana State-Northern in the finals.

Nathan Rodriguez finished fourth in the 184 pound division and Erick Parsons was fourth at 197 pounds.

Kenny Steers finished fifth at 197 pounds while Joel Palabrica finished sixth at 133 pounds.


Jessie Salisbury allowed a run in 10 2/3 innings and Menlo College swept a nonconference doubleheader from visiting Notre Dame de Namur on Sunday by identical 2-1 scores.

Salisbury (5-3) threw a complete game in the opener and relieved Jordan Kennedy in the second game, twirling 3 2/3 hitless innings.

The Oaks (6-7) used a defensive play to end the first game and Alyssa Seva'aetasi's hard smash to short was misplayed, allowing Menlo to score the winning run in the bottom of the eighth. Seva'aetasi had two hits in the first game.

Right fielder Brooke Menesini threw a strike to catcher Megan Wright to cut down the potential tying run in the top of the ninth of the opener.

Menlo hosts Hope International in a doubleheader Friday, its Golden State Athletic Conference opener, at 10 a.m.

— Menlo Athletics

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