Bryant tops class at NAIA Wrestling Championships

DES MOINES, Iowa -- For the second straight season, Lindsey Wilson is coming home from the NAIA Wrestling National Championships with an individual winner, as Jameel Bryant earned an 8-4 decision in tonight's finals at the Jacobson Exhibition Center.

The Blue Raiders finished fifth as a team with 78.5 points, while Grand View (Iowa) won the team championship with 159. Southern Oregon finished second with 153 points and Montana State-Northern took third with 104.

Bryant was the aggressor from start to finish in his 184-pound title match against fifth-ranked Jesse Hellinger of Dickinson State (N.D.). Despite being taken down early in the first period, Bryant turned the match in his favor with a hard-fought reversal to knot the score at 2-2.

Bryant then brought Hellinger's leg high to get him off balance and powered him to the ground on his back for a two-point near fall. Leading 4-2, Bryant gave up an escape, followed by gaining one of his own to lead 5-3 in the second period.

The best move of the match came late, as Bryant swooped under Hellinger to grab a single leg and gain a takedown once again to build a 7-3 lead and cruise to the championship with an added riding-time point at the end.

With the win in the final, the junior-college transfer Bryant ends his first season at Lindsey Wilson with a 31-9 overall record.

Lindsey Wilson also had Joe Cozart wrestling in a final, up against fifth-ranked Chad Lowman from Grand View at 157 pounds. Cozart fell victim to an early takedown and could only muster an escape the rest of the way.

Lowman opted to take the down position in the third period and added an escape to win the national title 3-1.

Cozart, who transferred in to Lindsey Wilson at the semester break from Iowa State, ended his year with a 17-6 record.

Five Blue Raiders were named NAIA All-Americans with top-eight finishes in their weight class, including Cozart, Bryant, Jacob McCombs (133), Wismit Moinius (141) and Ian Stephens (184).


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