Roadrunners qualify 10 for NJCAA Division II National Championships

Published 2:11 pm Monday, February 19, 2024

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FLINT — Four individual champion and 10 National Junior College Athletic Association meet qualifiers led Southwestern Michigan College to a runner-up finish at the Great Lakes District Tournament at Mott Community College Saturday.

Triton College was the team champion with 183 pounds. The Roadrunners finished with 175 points, while Harper College was third with 147.5 points. Morton College (90.5) and host Mott (74) finished fourth and fifth.

Winning individual championships for SMC were Colby Klinger (Mattawan), Hunter Heath (Niles/Brandywine), Nathan Andrina (Edwardsburg) and Shane Edwards (Battle Creek/Pennfield).

Placing second were Dowagiac’ Jordan Simpson and Caeleb Ishmael (Coloma), while finishing third was Zam Thompson (Lakeshore). Finishing fourth was Kyle Stampfly (Lakeshore), finishing fifth was Hector Garcia (South Bend/Riley) and finishing sixth was Vinny Patierno (Pickney).

Klinger won the 141-pound championship by injury default over Mott’s Jacob Boudreau. Klinger received a pair of byes and then blanked Triton’s Ashton Hayhurst 10-0 in the semifinals.

At 165, Heath pinned Andrew Mulay, of Triton, in 3:19 of the championship match. He received a first-round bye and the won by technical fall over Joliet Junior College’s Lucas Metz 16-0 in the quarterfinals and pinned Morton’s Christopher Durbin in 1:17 of the semifinals.

Andrina captured the 184-pound championship by medical forfeit over Ashton Light, of St. Clair County Community College. He reached the finals with a first-round bye, pinned Morton’s Frankie Cruz in 2:20 in the quarterfinals and won by major decision (14-5) over Bennett Eichert, of Triton, in the semifinals.

At 285, Edwards defeated Oleg Simakov, of Harper College, 11-6 in the championship match. He advanced to the finals with a first-round bye, a technical fall (17-1) over Morton’s Jeremiah Pinder in the quarterfinals and won by major decision (11-2) over Triton’s Tylahn Ladd in the semifinals.

Simpson defeated Henry Ford College’s Jacob Campbell 9-6 in the semifinals, but lost by technical fall in the 125-pound championship match.

Ishmael won by technical fall (17-0) in the quarterfinals at 149 pounds over Joliet’s Jake Meskauskas and then pinned St. Clair County’s Brendan Maybee in the semifinals in 24 seconds.

He was defeated in the championship match by Triton’s Anthony Bitner.

Southwestern Michigan will now begin preparation for its trip to Council Bluffs, Iowa for the NJCAA Division II National Championships, which start March 1.