Nick Becker celebrates after winning his third national title
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Redshirt senior Nick Becker made history Saturday night at the NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships, as the Hartford, Wis., native became the only wrestler in Parkside history to win three NCAA Championships. No. 1 Becker defeated No. 2 Nolan Kistler of California Baptist in an 8-4 decision in the championship match while battling a bloody nose throughout the final match. Becker closed out his career as a Ranger with a perfect 89-0 record.
Becker, who's brothers Craig Becker and Brad Becker also won national championships at Parkside, joined a long list of national champions in Ranger history. Bill West, who won national titles in 1974 & 1975, is the other Ranger with multiple national championships.
As a team, the Rangers would have finished with 74 points, which would have been good for third place behind St. Cloud State (92.5) and Notre Dame (84). Due to conference sanctions, Parkside is ineligible to place in the team standings. Third place would have been the best place in Parkside history, surpassing the fifth place finish in 2010.
Along with Becker, four other wrestlers secured All-American honors over the weekend. Frank Yattoni IV suffered an early loss on Saturday, but the senior battled back and earned two straight wins en route to a third place finish. He defeated Upper Iowa's Damian Penichet by major decision in the third place match.
Senior Matt Halverson also battled back from an early loss on Saturday to finish in third place after entering the tournament as the No. 11 ranked wrestler at 285. After the loss, Halverson pinned Mitchell Eull of Minot State in just 1:33 before pinning Cody Johnson of CSU-Pueblo in the third place match.
Airk Furseth finished in sixth place after going 2-0 on Friday. The sophomore suffered three straight losses on Saturday but ended his season with an incredible 32-8 record and an NCAA Regional Championship.
James Lehman went 0-2 on the day but finished in eighth place to garner All-American honors. The redshirt junior finished the seaso