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NIACC wrestlers place third at districts, qualify 7 for nationals

Photo: NIACC’s Tony Mendoza battles Ellsworth’s Cardeionte Wilson in the 149-pound title match.
MASON CITY – The NIACC wrestling team placed third at the NJCAA Central District Tournament on Sunday in the NIACC gym.

NIACC qualified seven wrestlers for the NJCAA Division I national meet, which will be held in Council Bluffs on March 1-2.

The Trojans earned their third-place finish with 115.5 points. Iowa Central was the team champion with 163.5 points and Ellsworth was second with 154 points.

NIACC had three second-place finishers in Mark Gonzales (125), Brock Luthens (133) and Tony Mendoza (149).

Also qualifying for the national meet were Hunter Luke (3rd at 141), Mason Carpenter (third at 174), Reldon Miller (4th at 184) and Zach Santee (3rd at 285).

In the 125-pound title match, Iowa Central’s Kevin Radcliff topped Gonazles by injury default in 3 minutes, 54 seconds.

In the 133-pound title match, Ellsworth’s Hector Candelaria topped Luthens, 3-1.

In the 149-pound title match, Ellsworth’s Cardeionte Wilson edged Mendoza 7-6 in an ultimate tie-breaker.

In the 141-pound third-place match, Luke took a 12-2 major decision from Iowa Central’s Damond Lockner.

In the 174-pound third-place match, Carpenter stopped Iowa Lakes’ Steven Raines, 8-3.

In the 285-pound third-place match, Santee edged Iowa Central’s Gunner Cash, 5-4. It was the second victory of the tournament for Santee over Cash. Santee nipped Cash 2-1 in the quarterfinal round, as well.

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