Marshall, Mo. (March 1, 2018)- The No. 2 Missouri Valley College men’s wrestling team is heading to Des Moines, Iowa for the 2018 NAIA Wrestling National Championship, taking place March 2-3 inside the Richard O. Jacobson Exhibition Center on the Iowa State Fairgrounds. The Vikings send the maximum number of 12 individuals to compete for possible individual and team National Championships.
Ten member of the Missouri Valley wrestling team earned an automatic berth into the National championship, at the 2018 Heart of America Athletic Conference Championship, two weeks ago. Two members of the team earned conference wildcard berths.
Representing the team at 125 pounds is No. 3 Freshman Jacob Seto (Wilton, Calif.). Seto finished second in his weight class at the conference championship, and carries a 22-7 record on the season into his first National tournament appearance.
Sophomore Zachary Durbin (Arnold, Mo.) makes his second appearance at the National event, after earning one of the wildcard berths at 133 pounds. Durbin went 1-2 at last year’s National tournament, and comes into this year’s championship with an 18-7 record.
Making his third National tournament appearance is No. 10 Junior Kenny Boyd (Hollywood, Fla.) at 157 pounds. Boyd is 3-4 in his previous two National appearances, and earned an automatic berth into this year’s tournament after placing second at the Heart tournament. Boyd is 29-8 on the season.
No. 9 Senior Tobias Barnes (Romulus, Mich.) is one of three returning All-Americans on this year team, after placing sixth at last year’s tournament with a 4-3 record. Barnes earned an automatic berth at 157 pounds after placing third in the conference championship. He comes into the National even with an 18-6 record.
Making his fourth appearance at the National tournament is No. 4 Senior Andrew Simmons (Palmdale, Calif.) competing at 165 pounds. Simmons is 7-7 all-time at the National event, and earned All-American status in 2017, placing fifth. Simmons earned an automatic berth in the National tournament after placing second in the Heart championship. He takes a 10-4 record on the season into the weekend.
Also competing at 165 pounds is No. 10 Junior Dalton Tipton (Smithville, Mo.), who earned an automatic berth after finishing third at the Heart tournament. Tipton is making his third appearance in the National tournament, and is 3-4 all-time at the event. He goes into the weekend with an overall record of 18-4.
Making his first appearance at the National tournament as a Viking is No. 5 Senior Cody Carson (Merriam, Kan.). Carson takes a 16-3 overall record into the weekend, and earned an automatic berth after placing third at the conference championship.
No. 16 Senior Alex Destra (Palmdale, Calif.) makes his first National tournament appearance, competing at 174 pounds. Destra received an automatic berth into the National event, after placing fifth at the Heart tournament. He sits with an overall record of 19-11 on the season.
At 184 pounds, No. 10 Junior Tristan Ramberg (Chesapeake Beach, Md.) makes his first National tournament appearance with Missouri Valley, after earning a 21-12 record so far this season. Ramberg earned an automatic berth into the National event after finishing third at the Heart championship.
Also making his first National tournament appearance is No. 13 Junior Terry Martin (Chicago, Ill.) at 197 pounds. Martin received a wildcard berth after finishing fifth at the Heart tournament, and he owns an 18-5 record.
No. 5 Senior Donovan Fouchey (Oscada, Mich.) returns to the National event for the second time at 197 pounds, after earning All-American status at the 2016 event. Fouchey placed sixth in 2016, with a 4-3 record. This season, Fouchey is 17-7 and earned an automatic berth after placing second at the conference tournament.
Finishing out the team is No. 4 Junior Jesse Gomez (Fullerton, Calif.), competing for the first time at the National tournament, at 285 pounds. Gomez placed second in the Heart championship to earn an automatic berth, and is 26-9 this season.
Missouri Valley is one of two teams to send the maximum number of 12 individuals to the National championship, joined by No. 1 Grand View (Iowa) University. No. 3 Williams Baptist (Ark.) College, No. 4 University of the Cumberlands (Ky.) and No. 5 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) College each qualified 11 individuals.
The 2018 NAIA Wrestling National Championships begin with Session I, Friday at 10 a.m. Session II takes place Friday at 6:30 p.m. Session III begins at 10 a.m., Saturday, and Session IV, featuring the 10 National championship matches, starts at 7 p.m., Saturday. The first three sessions will be broadcast by the NAIA Network, with the National championship matches broadcast on ESPN3 Saturday evening.