Muratov Second, Lowry Seventh At NJCAA Nationals
Northwest College wrestler Majid Muratov wrestled for the NJCAA national title Saturday, finishing second at 197 pounds in a heart-crushing loss to Tucker Tomlinson of Western Wyoming Community College. It wasn’t just a 3-1 loss, it was 3-1 in overtime by sudden victory, punctuated with controversy over an official’s takedown call in the final seconds.
NWC’s other medalist, Brady Lowry, took seventh in the land at 149 pounds.
Both earned All-America status as well.
The Trappers were 19th in the team standings with 38.5 points, to winner Clackamas (Oregon) Community College’s 133.5 for first. Western Wyoming’s Mustangs, ranked No. 1 all season, landed sixth with one champion, seven medals and 100 points.
Muratov, a native of Uzbekistan and NWC sophomore, ran up three victories Friday that had him in a great place ahead of Saturday’s final day at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
“He really showed up focused and wrestled really well,” Trapper coach Jim Zeigler said of Muratov.
The international veteran wrestler won by major decision (19-5) over Andrew Leltold of Labette in his national tourney debut, then laid a technical fall (16-1) loss on Southwest Oregon’s Ben Hughes. Next came a decision (8-5) over Colben Dodson of Northeast Oklahoma.
In the semifinals, Muratov seized a 5-3 decision at the expense of Tarik Sutkovic from Clackamas.
“He [Muratov] got taken down with 22 seconds, then he got a reversal with seven seconds to tie it up,” Zeigler explained.
“In overtime, it looked like the other guy was going to get the takedown,” the coach said, but Muratov instead ended up taking his opponent to the mat to win.
That sent him to the finals against familiar foe Tomlinson.
The two met earlier this season, including at the Ron Thon Memorial in Riverton, where Tomlinson won 6-0. This time, it was for the national championship at 197 pounds.
Unfortunately for Muratov, “he got taken down with one second left,” said Zeigler. “It was a real heartbreaker.”
As for Lowry, the coach said the freshman “did a good job” on the mats at his first national tournament.
“He hurt his knee in one match but was able to battle through it. Brady had some wins and tough losses” but all in all “it’s not a bad way to end a freshman year,” Zeigler said. “That’s a really tough weight [bracket] and he did well.”
Lowry had an all-falls day Friday. He opened by pinning Nolan Miller-Johnson out of Iowa Central in 2:50 before losing by fall to Deville Dentis of Iowa Lakes in 4:04. Lowry broke back in his next match, pinning Ben Lamp from Harper in 22 seconds flat to remain very much alive for a medal.
From there the Cedar City, Utah, student-athlete defeated Shawn Tillman out of Northeast Oklahoma, 9-6, and stuck Brandon Kidd, Jr. of
Rochester in a 34-second blitzkrieg. After dropping an 8-4 verdict to Cardionte Wilson from Ellsworth, Lowry went to the match for seventh and prevailed 3-1 over Joey Revetti of Western Wyoming. The worm turned for Lowry, who lost by decision to Revetti at the Ron Thon Invitational earlier this season.
Porter Fox, the only Trapper with prior NJCAA national tournament experience, began his second competition with a 5-3 decision over Umpqua’s Logan Folsom. Fox (174) then took a 9-7 win from Michael Waggoner out of Iowa Western, but fell by major decision (16-7) to Jeremiah Colon from Rochester (New York). Fox’s season ended with a 9-6 loss to Austin Hinzman of Iowa Lakes.
“Porter was just short of being an All-American,” said his coach. “He wrestled his heart out … trained his heart out all year. He wanted it so badly he felt like a failure when it didn’t happen. He’s a kid that does everything right. Trains right. Eats right. Lives right.
“He’s got good things in his future,” Zeigler said of Fox. “He’s already accomplished so much just to get where he’s at. He’s phenomenal. It was an absolute joy to coach him. He believed in the system, believed in me. We worked well together.”
What’s next for Fox?
With a laugh Zeigler answered, “He’s down in Park City today (Monday) probably on a set of skis eating a cheeseburger, finally able to ignore his weight.” Fox is a native of Kamas, Utah.
Tyson Carter, wrestling for NWC at 184, went 2-1 on Friday by taking Demetrius Ruiz of Middlesex County 9-4, then fell 6-1 to Rochester’s Gavin Christofferson. Carter battled back in the next round where he hung a 12-3 major decision on Alden Smith from Colby. His tournament ended by way of a pin in 1:06 by Iowa Western’s Josh McFarland.
Trapper 141-pounder Van Bray started by taking a major decision (9-2) from Isaiah Banks of Cowley, but then fell to Matt Hofenbredl from Southwest Oregon in a 2-1 screamer. Bray shrugged off the disappointment and defeated Connor Llewelyn from Nassau 10-5 and Eliot Jurries out of Minnesota West by 11-5 decision. The tournament then served up Kedric Coonis of No. 1 Western Wyoming. The Mustang prevailed 9-2, ending Bray’s gutsy attempt to keep his season going.
Northwest’s man at 125, Dawson Barfuss, was pinned in 2:47 by Jacob Robertson of Labette and was eliminated after losing by technical fall (17-0) to Clarence Lee-Green of NIACC.
Jate Frost at 165 was pinned in his first match in 5:55 by Caleb Wise of Labette. After a bye in the next round, Frost was eliminated 4-0 by Andrew Dearmond from Barton.