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Life University wins NAIA national title, prevents Grand View from winning 10th straight


WICHITA, Kan. -- [Brackets | Team Scores] The 2021 NAIA Men's Wrestling National Championship was full of firsts. Many first-time qualifiers, first-time All-Americans, first time finalists and individual titles. The biggest first however, happened at the conclusion of the championship when Life University (Ga.) was crowned 2021 NAIA Men's Wrestling National Champions. The Running Eagles will leave Wichita with 10 All-Americans, one individual champion and one team title highlighted by a red banner.

Life clinched the 2021 title with 158 points just five points ahead of defending national champion Grand View (Iowa) who had 153. Rounding out the top five of the championship was Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), Indiana Tech and Cumberland (Tenn.).

Final Team Standings:
Life (Ga.) 158.0
Grand View (Iowa) 153.0
Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 89.0
Indiana Tech 75.5
Cumberland (Tenn.) 74
Reinhardt (Ga.) 65.5
Southeastern (Fla.) 60.5
Thomas More (Ky.) 49
Graceland (Ky.) 48.5
Cumberlands (Ky.) 36.5

Championship Highlights:
  • 14 different schools were represented in finals.
  • Life (Ga.) headlined the finals with three wrestlers competing for titles.
  • Grand View (Iowa), Indiana Tech, Southeastern (Fla.) and Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) all had two finalists.
  • Life started the finals in the lead by one and then quickly got their national champion, Brandon Orum (125). No. 5 seed Denver Stonechek (149) and No. 10 seed Asher Eichert (174) finished as runner-ups.
  • At 141, Baterden Boldmaa of Doane (Neb.) defended his national title to become a back-to-back champion. Boldmaa won over Ryan Moore of Thomas More (Ky.).
  • Southeastern (Fla.) went two-for-two in its first two championship bouts.
  • Two wrestlers, Andreus Bond (149) and Kyle Kirkham (165), entered the field unseeded and proceeded to win individual titles.
  • Indiana Tech also had two national champions: No. 3 seed Conner Gimson (133) and No. 2 seed Eric Vermillion (184). C. Gimson beat No. 5 seed Esco Walker of Cumberland, 4-2.
    Twin brother Matt Gimson lost in the semifinals to Walker, earning third place. E.Vermillion pinned No. 9 seed Tyson Beauperthuy of Midland in 3:16.
  • Top-seeded Brennan Swafford was able to repeat 2020 and earn his second individual national title. Swafford beat No. 10 Asher Eichert of Life (Ga.) 10-7.
  • No. 1 seed Isaac Bartel of Montana State-Northern at 197 earned a victory in championship bout. He was the winner over No. 2 seed Trevor Lawson of Lindsey Wilson.
  • Brandon Reed of Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) became a four-time All-American and three-time national champion.
  • Comments

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    ban basketball (1) about a month ago
    Actually nice to see a change for once. Just like how Augsburg and Wartburg trade national "titles" every other year.
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