COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa – Iowa Central claimed its eighth NJCAA wrestling national title in dramatic fashion Saturday at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs. Entering the finals, the national title was within striking distance for three perennial powers in NJCAA wrestling as the Tritons - along with Clackamas (Ore.) and defending champion Northeastern Oklahoma A&M – exchanged the top spot on the team leaderboard six times over the course of the 10 championship bouts.
Trialing Clackamas by two and a half points (146.5 to 144), the national title was ultimately decided on the last match of the evening when Iowa Central’s Thomas Petersen handled Mario Pena of North Iowa Area in the heavyweight final. Petersen’s pin lifted Iowa Central to 150 points to surpass Clackamas. Northeastern Oklahoma A&M settled for third place with 143.
- The 2017 national title marks the eighth in program history for Iowa Central and sixth since 2006 – all under the direction of head coach Luke Moffitt.
- Iowa Central’s eight national championships in NJCAA wrestling ranks second all-time to North Idaho’s 14.
- Eight Iowa Central wrestlers finished on the podium stand with top 8 finishes.
- Todd Small (125#), Dayton Racer (149#) and Thomas Peterson (285#) each won individual titles for Iowa Central.
- Clackamas had two individual champions: Josh Reyes (149#) and Colt Doyle (174#).
- Northeastern Oklahoma also had two individual champions: Sean Deshazer (133#) and Wyatt Jordan (165#).
- Rochester (Minn.) was the top non-scholarship program in the team standings coming in ninth overall with 61.5 points.