Southwestern Michigan College finishes 30th at NJCAA Nationals

Published 12:07 pm Sunday, March 5, 2023

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — The Southwestern Michigan College wrestling team finished 30th in its first National Junior College Athletic Association Championships in more than three decades.

The Roadrunners did not have a wrestler place at the tournament, which was won by Western Wyoming with 134 points. Pratt was the runner-up with 112.5 points, while Iowa Western was third with 106.5.

Southwestern Michigan was the highest finishing team from the Michigan Community College Athletic Association with 12.5 points. The Roadrunners finished one spot better than Muskegon Community College, which finished 31st with 11 points. St. Clair County Community College was 33rd with 8.5 points, Henry Ford and Mott Community College tied for 36th with 6 points, while Ancilla College was 52nd. Ancilla did not score a point in the tournament.

Three Roadrunners won opening round matches, but were defeated in the round of 16.  Former Brandywine standout Hunter Heath defeated Joseph Russo of Nassau 6-2 in his opening round match at 165-pounds

Heath was edged in the Round of 16 by Khayitov Mirzo, of Ellsworth, 8-6. He would end up 2-2 overall.

Decatur’s Jared Checkey won his first-round match at 174-pounds by pinning Lakawanna’s Simeon Hunter in 1:49. Aziz Fayzullaev, of Northwest College, blanked Checkley 10-0 in the Round of 16. Checkley was 1-2 overall.

Shane Edwards (Battle Creek/Pennfield) won his opening round match at 285-pounds with a 4-2 decision over Victor Vargas, of Morton. Edwards was edged by Micah Lieberman of Labette 2-0 in the round of 16. He was 1-2 in three matches.

Also competing for the Roadrunners were Dowagiac’s Jordan Simpson, who was 1-2 at 125-pounds, while Gabe Livingston (Battle Creek/Lakeview) at 133-pounds was 1-2 overall.

Former Lakeshore wrestler Zam Thompson (Eaton Rapids) was 2-2 at 149-pounds. Pickney’s Vinny Patierno was 1-2 at 197-pounds.