Lights' roster set for NAIA national tourney


February 22, 2019

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Montana State University-Northern sophomore Nick Kunz, top, was one of two Lights added to the NAIA national tournament field on Wednesday. Northern automatically qualified five grapplers through the Cascade Conference Tournament, while Kunz and Matt Weber also made it.

At last weekend's Cascade Conference tournament in Great Falls, the Montana State University-Northern wrestling team automatically qualified five grapplers for next week's NAIA national tournament.

On Wednesday, the Lights got two more of their wrestlers into the field.

The final field of 240 wrestlers was announced by the NAIA Wednesday, and as expected, Northern senior Matt Weber was in, as was sophomore 125-pounder Nick Kunz.

Weber had been ranked No. 1 at 141 all season long, but he suffered an injury in January and had to battle to a sixth-place finish at the Cascade tourney. Only five spots were open at 141 in Great Falls, so Weber, a two-time NAIA All-American, advanced to nationals on a wild card.

Kunz has also been ranked at 125 all season long, but has also been dealing with injury problems the last two months. He finished seventh in Great Falls but was also given a wildcard to the tourney. Northern was also potentially looking at wildcards for Landon Bailey and Steller French, but the Lights will send seven wrestlers to nationals. Brandon Weber, Andrew Bartel, Chase Short, Isaac Bartel and Jase Stokes qualified automatically last week in Great Falls.

The 2019 NAIA national tournament runs next Friday and Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa. For complete coverage, stay tuned to the Havre Daily News all next week.


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