The Red Raiders were no match for Grand View last Friday, Dec. 3, as Northwestern was only able to win one match against the Vikings to fall 46-6. Senior Luke Evjen claimed the lone victory at 184 with a win by fall in 4:58 over the 10th-ranked wrestler in the NAIA.
The next day, the Raiders competed in the Simpson Invitational and Evjen and junior Matt Dowell qualified for nationals. They join teammates sophomore Jerod Flores and freshmen JL Mayo and Joe Feekes as national qualifiers for the year. The team finished eighth out of 15 teams.
Evjen placed second at the tournament. He won his first match by fall in 4:09 and his second by a 6-2 decision. He advanced to the championship match with a 6-3 decision before losing by a 9-3 decision.
Dowell placed fifth, winning his first match by a 14-2 major decision. He won his next match by a 4-2 decision but then lost by decision 9-6. Dowell lost by a 5-0 decision in the wrestlebacks but won the fifth-place match by an 8-2 decision.
Eight other wrestlers recorded wins at the Simpson Invite. Sophomore Angelo Quintana started out hot, pinning his opponent in 34 seconds at 125 pounds. He followed up with an 11-4 win by decision before losing by a 12-9 decision. In the wrestlebacks, he won by major decision 16-3 before losing by a 6-2 decision to have a 3-2 record in the tournament.
Sophomore Jerod Flores went 3-2 at 149. He dropped his first match, but fought his way through the wrestlebacks, winning by fall in 6:05, a 7-2 decision and again by fall in 2:08. However, his bid for placing fell short after he lost a 12-6 decision.
Senior Brad Hughes also went 3-2 on the day at 285 pounds. He won his first two matches by fall in 4:20 and decision, 8-3. A loss sent him to the wrestlebacks, where he pinned his opponent in 1:42 before losing again.
Mayo wrestled at 141 and went 1-2. He lost his first match by decision, got a bye and then won by fall in 1:48 before losing a second time by decision.
Freshman Ariel Bosque went 1-2 at 149. After a first-round bye, he lost his first match, then won by fall in 1:42. He was then forced to wrestle teammate Flores and was eliminated with a Flores victory.
At 184, freshman Ryan McLaurin went 1-2, losing by decision, then winning by fall before losing again by decision.
Freshman Chris Michael also wrestled 184 and went 1-2. He lost his first match but won his second by pinning his opponent in 3:36. He then lost by decision to finish his day.
Feekes lost his first match by decision and then got a bye to begin the wrestlebacks. He won by fall in 8:26 and then lost for the second time to be eliminated.