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Three Panthers Head to Philadelphia for 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships

The University of Northern Iowa wrestling team will send three wrestlers
to the 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships in Philadelphia.|The University of Northern Iowa wrestling team will send three wrestlers to the 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships in Philadelphia, Pa. beginning Thursday, March 17. David Bonin (157 lbs.), Ryan Loder (184 lbs.) and Christian Brantley (hwt.) will represent the Panthers. This marks the first trip to the NCAA Championships for Loder and Bonin while Brantley makes his third consecutive trip.


ï Ryan Loder earned the Panthers’ only seed at the NCAA Championships, earning the No. 6 seed at 184 pounds. Loder will take on Hofstra’s Ben Clymer in the opening round. Loder comes in with a 27-9 record while Clymer holds a 21-8 mark. Loder earned his spot by capturing his first West Regional title with 4-3 upset over Wyoming’s No. 1-seeded Joe LeBlanc. The Granite Bay, Calif. native comes into the NCAA Championships having won 20 of his last 23 matches including six wins over ranked opponents.

ï Christian Brantley makes his third consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships after claiming his third West Regional heavyweight crown. The junior enters the NCAA Championships with a 25-6 record. Four of Brantley’s six losses this season have come to wrestlers seeded at this year’s NCAA Championships. Brantley has also recorded two wins over seeded wrestlers, topping No. 12 seeded Eric Bugenhagen (Wisconsin) and No. 7-seeded Blake Rasing (Iowa).

ï Sophomore David Bonin will make his first appearance at the NCAA Championships after finishing second at 157 pounds at the West Regional. Bonin enters the NCAA Championships with a 24-11 record. Bonin ended the dual season winning nine of his last 10 matches, including five wins by a major decision score.

ï Junior Christian Brantley extended his West Regional dominance, picking up his third straight West Regional title. Brantley is a perfect 8-0 in West Regional matches after picking up three wins last weekend.

ï Seniors Caleb Flores and Brett Robbins both fell just one win short of advancing to the NCAA Championships. Flores and Robbins each placed second in their respective weight classes, but failed to earn the automatic qualifying spot after falling in true second place matches. However, both wrestlers second place finish marked the highest finish at the West Regional in their careers.


UNI racked up 87 points en route to a second place finish at the 2011 West Regional Championships March 6 in Colorado Springs, Colo. All ten Panthers placed in the top four, with UNI crowning two champions and recording four runner-up finishes. Wyoming just edged the Panthers, scoring 93 points to earn its second-straight West Regional title.


For the fourth time in five years UNI claimed a share of the Western Wrestling Conference regular season title. The Panthers topped No. 24-ranked Wyoming 19-13 in the West Gym to take the regular season crown. In the five years of WWC wrestling, UNI has won the title outright three times and shared it once with Wyoming.

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