Weakley, Williams Post Fifth Place Finishes At NCAA Championships
KEARNEY, Neb. – Russell Weakley and Mike Williams suffered tight losses in the consolation semifinals, but both rebounded with wins in the fifth place bouts to help No. 17 UNCP to a tie for 17th in the final team standings at the NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships at Nebraska-Kearney's Health and Sports Center on Saturday.
Having already clinched their second-straight all-American accolades with their performances in Friday's opening sessions, the duo helped the Braves to their best finish at the NCAA Championships under head coach Jamie Gibbs. Weakley closed out his collegiate career with a 74-13 record, while Williams will bring a 38-6 career record into his junior season in 2011-12.
The Braves tallied 20 team points to finish in a tie for 20th place alongside region rival West Liberty in the 41-team field in Kearney. Top-ranked Nebraska-Omaha successfully defended its 2009 and 2010 national championships by using seven top-8 finishes to log an event-high 102-1/2 points. Second-ranked St. Cloud State had six wrestlers finish in the top-8 of their respective weight classes en route to 90-1/2 points, with fourth-ranked Augustana, S.D. (81-1/2 points), No. 12 Upper Iowa (66) and No. 7 Western State (64) rounding out the top five.
Weakley registered an 11-3 major decision over eighth-ranked Corey Ulmer of Minnesota State-Moorhead in Saturday's consolation quarterfinal round, but would fall victim to a third-period takedown by second-ranked Connor McDonald of Newberry en route to a 3-1 loss in the following round. Weakley would end his career in the Black and Gold on a high note, however, utilizing an escape and a pair of takedowns in the second period to upend seventh-ranked Andy Forstner of Minnesota State-Mankato with an 8-5 decision in the fifth place bout.
Williams used a reversal with 10 seconds left to turn back fifth-ranked Matt Gille of Wisconsin-Parkside in the consolation semifinals, but lost to sixth-ranked Joey Wilson of Nebraska-Kearney, 3-1, via a takedown in the sudden victory overtime period. Williams, likewise, would close out his sophomore season on a high note, using two escapes and a takedown in the second period to post a 6-5 decision over fourth-ranked Gavin Nelson of Augustana (S.D.). The triumph avenged an 11-8 loss to Nelson in Friday's championship quarterfinal round.
UNCP RESULTS (Friday & Saturday)
No. 1 Trevor Franklin (Upper Iowa) dec. No. 5 Russell Weakley (UNCP) D 5-2
No. 5 Russell Weakley (UNCP) maj. dec. Pierre Bondoc (San Francisco State) M 9-1
No. 5 Russell Weakley (UNCP) dec. No. 3 Kyle O'Brien (Western State) D 10-3
**No. 5 Russell Weakley (UNCP) maj. dec. No. 8 Corey Ulmer (Minnesota State-Moorhead) M 11-3
**No. 2 Connor McDonald (Newberry) dec. No. 5 Russell Weakley (UNCP) D 3-1
**No. 5 Russell Weakley (UNCP) dec. No. 7 Andy Forstner (Minnesota State-Mankato) D 8-5
No. 1 Todd Wilcox (Grand Canyon) dec. Timdarius Thurston (UNCP) D 3-1
Timdarius Thurston (UNCP) dec. Eric Ellington (St. Cloud State) D 6-4
Jesse Cruz (Western State) dec. Timdarius Thurston (UNCP) TB2 3-1
No. 3 Nick Walpole (Indianapolis) pinned Brendon Parker-Risk (UNCP) F 1:53
Daniel Genetin (Ashland) dec. Brendon Parker-Risk (UNCP) D 4-1
No. 1 Mike Williams (UNCP) dec. Nathan Sigman (Nebraska-Omaha) D 6-1
No. 4 Gavin Nelson (Augustana, S.D.) dec. No. 1 Mike Williams (UNCP) D 11-8
No. 1 Mike Williams (UNCP) dec. Brandon Eichmann (Minnesota State-Mankato) D 3-2
**No. 1 Mike Williams (UNCP) dec. Matt Gille (Wisconsin-Parkside) D 3-1
**No. 6 Joey Wilson (Nebraska-Kearney) dec. No. 1 Mike Williams (UNCP) SV 3-1
**No. 1 Mike Williams (UNCP) dec. No. 4 Gavin Nelson (Augustana, S.D.) D 6-5
** - Match contested on Friday