“I’m really pleased with our kids,” said Northwest College wrestling coach Jim Zeigler. “I thought Friday night was exciting and I thought we had outstanding performances on Saturday. When you look at the coaches and the teams that were in that gym this weekend, there were seven national championships since 2003 represented here over the weekend.”
The Trappers opened the competition in impressive fashion on Friday, cruising past No. 11 Iowa Central by a 36-9 final score. Northwest scored wins in the first four matches of the night, including a win by fall from 149-pounder Colby Kloetzer, to vault to a 15-0 lead.
Iowa Central broke the run with a narrow one-point decision victory at 157 pounds as Devin Geoghegan nipped the Trappers’ Colton Thornton. Northwest quickly recovered those points as Diorian Coleman won a decision victory at 165 pounds, sending Northwest into the upper weights with an 18-3 lead.
Those upper weights have been a source of struggle for the Trappers for much of the season, but not on Friday night. Cole McArthur (174) collected a fall with 20 seconds remaining in his match. Braden Gibson (184) followed with a late first period win by fall that cinched the dual for the Trappers. For good measure, Jarrett Baker (197) continued the trend, producing an early second-period win by fall.
Iowa Central capitalized on a pin in the heavyweight match to give the match its final score.
Buoyed by their performance the previous night, the Trappers started Saturday on a mission. Northwest cruised to victory in the first six weight divisions to easily avenge an earlier-season loss to No. 3 Clackamas. Cody Vichi (125) started things out with a major decision win and T.J. Guild and Zach Loveless followed with decision wins.
Kloetzer registered his second win by fall of the event with a third-period win by fall at 149 pounds. Colton Thornton followed with a second-period win by fall. Coleman iced the dual with a narrow 5-4 decision win at 165 pounds that gave the Trappers an insurmountable 25-0 lead before Clackamas could get on the scoreboard.
“I did not picture having a 25-point lead after those first six matches,” said Zeigler. “The big one was Colby’s win at 149 pounds. That was a huge match and a very close, hard-fought match until Colby was able to get the pin. That’s what really helped us to seal it after 165 pounds.”
The Oregon school picked up a major decision win at 174 pounds and followed it with a pin at 184, but Baker stepped up for a third-period win by fall for the Trappers. Jade Parsons was again a first-period fall victim for Northwest at 285.
“We reversed how our first dual went with them,” said Zeigler. “When we met them earlier this year in Idaho, they won seven of the 10 matches. This time, we were able to win seven out of the 10.”
The lightweight divisions continued to carry Northwest early in its dual against top-ranked North Idaho with Vichi, Loveless, Thornton and Coleman each picking up decision victories for the Trappers.
Vichi’s win came against the No. 1 ranked Trapper in the 125-pound division. Coleman’s win was among the Trappers’ most exciting of the weekend. The freshman scored the go-ahead takedown with two seconds remaining in his match to swing the points onto Northwest’s side of the scoreboard.
North Idaho countered with wins over Guild and Kloetzer, giving the Trappers a 12-6 lead entering the 174-pound match.
Cole McArthur came up on the short side of an 8-1 decision for the Trappers at 174. Braden Gibson was a first-period fall victim as North Idaho vaulted to a 15-12 lead. Northwest took a forfeit at the two highest weight classes to make the final score 27-12 in North Idaho’s favor.
“Even though we lost the dual, we were able to win four matches against them, which is better than anyone in the country has been able to do this season,” said Zeigler. “We won four of the first six matches and, really, could have taken a fifth one I thought.”
North Idaho also retained possession of the Moose Cup traveling trophy between the two schools by virtue of the regular-season sweep of the Trappers in dual action.
“I really think we could win a dual against anyone in the country with our six lightest weights,” said Zeigler. “I don’t think there’s another team in the nation that can match up with us at those weights, and we’re hoping that carries us into the national tournament with momentum. Adding Jarrett Baker gives us some help at the upper weights that we need, no question.”
Northwest College takes this week off before heading to Portland, Ore., next week for the Northwest regional meet. After years competing in the North Central region, the Trappers were shifted westward when the NJCAA realigned and balanced its regions for the postseason.
“There is no question that we’re in the most difficult region in the nation, hands down,” said Zeigler. “This was an important weekend for seeding purposes, but we need to be prepared, because it will not be easy. North Idaho and Clackamas will both be there. Western Wyoming looked very good over the weekend while they were here. Highline out of Washington has an excellent program. There isn’t a region in the country that can compare to what we’ll face.”
The top 70 percent of wrestlers at the regional meet will advance to compete at the NJCAA championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
Northwest 36, Iowa Central 9
125-Cody Vichi won a 6-1 decision
133-T.J. Guild won a 9-4 decision
141-Zach Loveless won a 7-6 decision
149-Colby Kloetzer won by fall in 2:56
157-Colton Thornton lost a 4-3 decision
165-Diorian Coleman won an 8-3 decision
174-Cole McArthur won by fall in 6:40
184-Braden Gibson won by fall in 2:58
197-Jarrett Baker won by fall in 3:17
285-Jade Parsons lost by fall in 2:05
Northwest 31, Clackamas 16
125-Cody Vichi won a 9-0 major decision
133-T.J. Guild won a 7-5 decision
141-Zach Loveless won a 7-0 decision
149-Colby Kloetzer won by fall in 5:50
157-Colton Thornton won by fall in 4:53
165-Diorian Coleman won a 5-4 decision
174-Cole McArthur lost a 12-1 major decision
184-Braden Gibson lost by fall in 4:05
197-Jarrett Baker won by fall in 6:29
285-Jade Parsons lost by fall in 1:09
N. Idaho 27, Northwest 12
125-Cody Vichi won an 11-9 decision
133-T.J. Guild lost a 9-5 decision
141-Zach Loveless won a 7-3 decision
149-Colby Kloetzer lost a 5-1 decision
157-Coleton Thornton won an 8-4 decision
165-Diorian Coleman won a 2-1 decision
174-Cole McArthur lost an 8-1 decision
184-Braden Gibson lost by fall in 2:13
197-N. Idaho wins by forfeit
285-N. Idaho wins by forfeit