Things started off well for the Montana State University-Northern wrestling team at the annual Cliff Keen National Duals. They didn’t end that way however.
On Saturday, in Springfield, Ill., the fourth-ranked Lights went 1-2 at the NAIA national duals, leaving them short of placing.
The Lights came into the event as the No. 4 seed and they dominated 16th-ranked Cumberlands of Kentucky in the opening round, winning by a score of 39-11.
In the quarterfinals, the Lights were matched up with fifth-ranked Campblesville, and they came up short, falling in the dual, 22-19 in what Northern head coach Tyson Thivierge called a very tough and close dual.
The loss on Saturday afternoon sent Northern into the loser-out bracket, and there, the Lights were defeated by Midland University, 30-25. The loss eliminated the Lights from the tournament.
As expected the top three seeds in the dual finished that way. Top-ranked Grand View edged No. 2 Southern Oregon in the championship dual on Sunday, while third-ranked Great Falls finished third, beating Campblesville 27-17 in the third-place dual. During this weekend’s tournament, former Havre Blue Pony Myles Mazurkiewicz became UGF's all-time winningest wrestler.
Northern will return home for its final dual of the season Wednesday night when the Lights take on Western Wyoming at 7 p.m. at the Armory Gymnasium.