Thu, Mar. 8, 2012 - [Men's Wrestling]
The University of the Cumberlands (UC) Wrestling program has had its share of ups and downs this season, but has stayed consistent as of late to keep a spot in the NAIA Top 20 throughout the year. This past week, the Patriots made the trip to Des Moines, Iowa to compete at the 2012 NAIA National Championships. The Patriots did compete well and came away with two All-Americans for the year and a 14thplace team finish out of 35 competing teams.
On Thursday, the Patriot team took a big blow as they had to deal with the heart wrenching end to one of their senior captains. Jered Medina (Las Vegas, NV) unfortunately suffered a neck injury that had severely limited his training time and overall health and ended up ending his career early in the national tournament. Head Coach Matt Lowers commented, "I have no doubts that without that injury, Jered would have been an All-American this season."
The Patriots did manage to qualify 8 of their 9 qualifiers through the first day of competition. Friday also saw its share of heartbreak though as Larone Madison (Riviera Beach, FL) was defeated in the quarterfinals of the 125 pound championships by Danny Luttrell of the University of Great Falls. Larone did what a champion does though and came back strong Friday evening and put himself into the All-American rounds on Saturday.
Joining him was 149 pound freshman sensation Anthonie Linares (San Jose, CA). Linares lost a tough quarterfinal match to the eventual champion and like Madison battled back to place himself in the All-American round on Saturday as well.
On Saturday Larone opened the day with a victory to put himself into the 3rdplace match to guarantee himself his highest finish to date. Linares also had a huge victory to place himself in the 3rdplace match. Larone ended up finishing his career as a 3-time All-American by placing 3rd defeating Bryden Lazaro of Dickinson State by decision 8-5.
Lowers said, "I am very proud to have coached Larone in his last college match. He was a tremendous team leader for us all season and has bettered the UC program and all of his teammates."
Linares wrested a great match that came down to the wire, but unfortunately he came up just short losing in the 3rdplace match to TJ Moen of Grand View by decision 3-1. A 4thplace finish as a true freshman is an outstanding accomplishment and one he can be very proud of.
Lowers commented, "Anthonie ended up scoring 2 falls and a tech fall during the tournament to lead our team in individual points. It is also noteworthy to mention that his losses were to the eventual champion and to the #1 ranked wrestler in his weight class coming into the tournament."
As a team, the Patriots finished in 14thwhich was lower than what they had hoped for.
"We suffered some unfortunate injuries late in the year that I believe hampered our performance," said Lowers. "But, we cannot use that as an excuse. I believe champion teams persevere through those situations and that is what I hope this young team can take away from this experience. Overall, we had a successful year boasting two top 4 All-Americans and some big team victories including wins over the #3 Campbellsville team and the #9 Morningside team. We also had a commanding victory at the North Manchester Spartan Mat Classic."
For more information on the Patriots Men's Wrestling program along with other Patriot athletics, please visit www.cumberlandspatriots.com.
Article by PJ Martinez, UC Multimedia & Athletic Services Student Assistant.