MIAMI, OK – Fifth-ranked Indian Hills put together an impressive showing at the National Junior College Athletic Association Duals on Friday, placing sixth overall out of 24 teams.
The Warriors went 3-2 on the day, competing with some of the nation's elite men's wrestling programs In the premiere regular season event in junior college wrestling, Friday's duals featured the top eight teams in the national rankings and 16 of the top 20 programs.
The Warriors squared off with four nationally ranked opponents in the program's first-ever appearance at the national duals.
"Overall, a great experience for our team," stated IHCC head wrestling coach Cole Spree. "The guys competed hard. I believe they realize we are very close to doing some really special things here at Indian Hills.
"We're excited to get home, get healthy, and keep getting better."
After opening up the day with a bye as the fifth seed in the first round of the team advancement tournament, the Warriors dominated Neosho Community College, winning 44-12 over the Kansas school. Indian Hills suffered a narrow 26-15 loss to sixth-ranked North Idaho College before bouncing back in the consolation rounds to defeat 20th-ranked Iowa Community College Athletic Conference rival Iowa Lakes 34-15 and 14th-ranked Southeastern Oregon Community College 37-12.
In the fifth-place match, the Warriors fell to tournament host, third-ranked Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College. Indian Hills opened up the match with a 16-0 lead, but dropped the final four matches to fall to the Norsemen.
The Warriors, entering Friday with six nationally ranked individuals in tow, received a number of standout performances throughout the day. Caleb Meekins, the top-ranked 133-pound sophomore, posted a 5-0 record on the day with three pins including a fall scored in just 46 seconds against Jovan Garcia, the country's third-ranked wrestler, in IHCC's dual with Southwestern Oregon.
Meekins, the Indian Hills December male student-athlete of the month, now sits at 8-0 in dual matches on the year. Meekins has recorded six pins on the year with the additional two victories via forfeit.
Sophomore Victor Guzman and freshman Matthew Lewis dominated the 141-pound weight class. Lewis, the four-time high school state champion from Centerville, went 3-0 on the day including a pin against 10th-ranked Dalton Burdick in IHCC's fifth-place dual with NEO. Guzman picked up two wins during the day for the Warriors.
Sophomore Destin Jones went 3-1 on the day in the 157-pound weight class. In the three wins, Jones outscored his opponents 38-0 to earn two tech falls and a major decision.
Cameron Nesbitt, ranked seventh in the 165-pound weight class, earned four victories on the day including a 2-1 decision against 10th-ranked Richard Mack of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M.
Jacob Anderson impressed the crowd in the 174-pound weight class, winning each of his first four matches before dropping a narrow 12-7 decision to Dayton Fields, the top-ranked wrestler in the nation from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. Anderson earned a fall and a tech fall among his four victories on the day for Indian Hills.
Top-ranked 184-pound IHCC grappler Deron Pulliam won both of his dual matches on the day. Noah Broderson scored a pair of wins for the Warriors in the heavyweight division.
The fifth-ranked Warriors return to Iowa Community College Athletic Confernece (ICCAC) dual action against eighth-ranked Iowa Western. The two conference foes will square off in a battle for the regular-season regional title inside the Multipurpose Center on IHCC's Centerville campus Wednesday night starting at 7 p.m.