The North Idaho College wrestling team ended its regular season Jan. 31 with a 29-15 win at home against Simon Fraser University of Burnaby, British Columbia.
It was sophomore night meaning it was the last home match for eight Cardinal wrestlers, including All-American Jarrett Morrill, who ended his regular season with a 15 second match that resulted in him pinning sophomore Dillon Hume of Simon Fraser.
Realizing it was his last home match, Morrill said he felt a little extra emotion.
“I was walking in there to grab my stuff, and I was thinking it was the last time I was going to grab it,” Morrill said. “Obviously, I wanted to do well for the last match.”
NIC (13-1 overall, 9-0 conference) got off to a bit of a rocky start though in the 125-pound match. Skylor Davis of Simon Fraser pinned sophomore Brock Banta.
“Last time Brock pinned that guy, this time he pinned him,” said NIC head coach Pat Whitcomb. “The kid’s tough.”
The Cardinals rebounded with four straight wins including Morrill’s pin and major decisions by freshmen Jeremy Golding and Nico Moreno.
Freshman Casey Quinn from Hollis, New Hampshire, filled in for All-American Kyle Sweedman, who was out with the flu. Simon Fraser’s Cody Coombes defeated Quinn.
After redshirt sophomore All-American Caleb Rivera won by forfeit, 197-pounder VJ Giulio pinned Manvir Sahota in the second period with a tenth of a second left.
Giulio said that one of his coaches told him to be patient, that Sahota had good escaping abilities and that Giulio would have to put moves together in order for him to win.
“When I was on top, that’s all I was doing, staying patient, because I knew once he moved I was going to be able to work something,” Giulio said.
The Cardinals, ranked No. 1 in the nation, will compete in the Region 18 Tournament in Oregon City, Ore., Saturday. The NJCAA National Tournament will be held in Des Moines, Iowa, on Feb. 22 and 23.
“We have so much talent on our team,” Giulio said. “We can really do anything with these next two tournaments.”