The Iowa Lakes Community College wrestling team finished in eighth place at the NJCAA Wrestling National Championships this week, and four of its wrestlers earned All-American honors.
"Our goal as a team was to fight every minute of every match and let the results take care of themselves. I really thought the guys did that throughout the tournament," Cody Alesch, head wrestling coach at Iowa Lakes Community College.
Christian Dulaney, wrestling at 197 lbs, was national runner-up. George Farmah, at 133 lbs, took third place. Isaiah Cox, wrestling at 184 lbs, earned sixth place and Kaz Maia, at 149 lbs, took eighth. Brian Maas, wrestling at 125 lbs, went 1-2, as did Andrew Tate, who wrestled at 165 lbs, and Brady Brott, at 157 lbs. Heavyweight Cayleon Barton went 0-2.
"We had a few matches we did not manage well when we were in control or able to score more points but it wasn't from the lack of effort," Alesch said. "The guys came to wrestle and as a staff we were proud to be in their corner every match."
Dulaney put a great run together and nearly claimed that national title he sought, despite wrestling with an injury. He overcame significant adversity in enduring his injury and excelled at nationals. Along the way Dulaney pinned the returning national champion from last year — also the wrestler who beat Dulaney in last year's quarterfinal match.
Farmah had a great tournament after a year ago falling short of All-American honors by one match. He had a tough semifinal opponent but still strived for a win. After that hard-fought loss, he refocused and battled back to earn third place.
Cox also had a great experience, wrestling for the first time at the national tournament. Isaiah lost a close second round match, but then reeled off four straight wins before dropping his last two for a sixth place finish. In those four straight wins Cox earned a win from the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the country.
Maia defaulted to eighth place after making the medal rounds. He suffered a knee injury in his second round match and still managed to win that match, as well as an overtime match in which he trailed from the start to claim All-American honors.
"Our goals were higher this season as a team, so we now have to step forward with next seasons goals and begin the work to assure we are where we want to be at season's end in 2018," Alesch said.
Photo: George Farmah wrestling his third place match at the 2017 NJCAA Wrestling National Championships.
MEDIA: For more information, please contact Cody Alesch at 712-362-7930 or the Iowa Lakes Sports Information office at 712-362-7982.