Cardinals Hoist Battle For Birds Nest Trophy Again
ELMHURST, Ill. (Jan. 7, 2019) – The tenth-ranked North Central College men’s wrestling team’s dominance in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) continued Friday night at R.A. Faganel Hall, where the Cardinals posted a 46-0 shutout over the Elmhurst College Bluejays (1-5, 0-2 CCIW) to hoist the Birds’ Nest Trophy for a third-straight year.
Robert Precin, freshly tabbed as the fourth-ranked wrestler in the nation at 125-pounds—opened the meet for North Central in commanding fashion with a 23-8 technical fall, his fourth such victory of the season. At 133-lbs, Ian Mullen made quick work of his Bluejay opponent, requiring just one minute and 18 seconds to record his 25th career pin. Marc Fleenor added another pin for the Cardinals at 141-lbs—his fifth of the season—while Anthony Rink won the 149-lbs match by tech fall, 18-0, to improve to 8-0 in dual meets on the season.
Rafael Roman picked up North Central’s third and final tech fall with a 15-0 victory at 157-lbs, while Jacob Boumans and Brock Montford added a pair of victories by decision at 165-lbs and 174-lbs (6-3 and 5-4, respectively). Cody Baldridge–the nation’s ninth-ranked wrestler at 184-lbs–found his fifth major decision of the season, 13-5, before Ben Bergen took the 197-lbs match with a pin (3:00). Jason Nako closed the meet in dramatic fashion for the Cardinals, winning the heavyweight match in overtime, 4-3.
Tuesday’s victory marked the second CCIW shutout of the season for the Cardinals, as well as the program’s 16th-straight victory, dating back to 2017.
North Central (7-2, 4-0 CCIW) travels Louisville, Ky. for the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) National Duals, which run Jan. 10 and Jan. 11.