The Nation’s Best College and High School Programs Turn Up the Heat at 2004 National Duals

Article by Mark Palmer, Photos by Danielle Hobeika

Oklahoma State defended their team title by defeating Missouri 24-6 in the finals of the college division I tournament
There are a number of regions in the US that can be considered “wrestling hotbeds” – places where interest in amateur wrestling is at its highest.   Most knowledgeable fans would agree that Cleveland and northern Ohio would normally be considered a hotbed.  On the snowy weekend of January 16-18, things got even hotter in that wrestling hotbed as Cleveland hosted the 2004 Cliff Keen/NWCA (National Wrestling Coaches Association) National Duals.
Held at the Cleveland State Convocation Center – site of the 1998 NCAA Division I championships – the 2004 National Duals welcomed the nation’s best wrestling programs for the purpose of determining national team champions.  The event drew sixteen of the best collegiate teams in each of the three NCAA divisions (I, II and III), as well as four of nation’s top programs from the NAIA and junior college ranks.  In fact, the National Duals is believed to be the only intercollegiate competition in the US that brings together at one location all collegiate divisions vying for national titles in their respective divisions.
In addition to the men’s collegiate competition, this year there were dual-format competitions among some of the top-ranked women’s college programs held on January 9… and a first-time competition among high school teams.  
World Silver Medalist Tocarra Montgomery of Cumberland College pinned Stephanie Lee of Missouri Valley in the debut of women's wrestling to the National Duals
If all this weren’t enough to warm the hearts of wrestling fans, the 2004 National Duals featured…
  • Seven Division I NCAA champions
  • Twenty-six number-one ranked wrestlers from all divisions
  • Over 100 separate dual meets
  • Special motivational talks by all-time wrestling greats Dan Gable and Cael Sanderson
Here’s a look at some of the competitions at the 2004 National Duals…
Women.  This tournament pitted two teams each from Missouri Valley and Cumberland colleges in a series of four duals.  Cumberland’s “A” and “B” teams won all four of their match-ups with Missouri Valley’s “A” and “B” teams.  One highlight of interest to local fans:  Cumberland’s Toccora Montgomery – a native of Cleveland -- won both of her matches in decisive fashion, pinning Stephanie Lee in the first bout, and earning a tech fall over Alicia McCoy in the second. 
In high school action, St. Edwards defeated Davison 37-22 at the National Duals -- a satisfying win as they had lost the team title at the Medina Holiday tournament to Davison earlier in the season
High school.  This first-ever event brought together ten high schools from the Great Lakes area, including nationally-ranked St. Edward and Walsh Jesuit from northern Ohio, and Davison and Clarkson high schools in Michigan.  Each school wrestled two duals.  One of those duals had an element of revenge: St. Ed (ranked number five on the Amateur Wrestling News national poll) had lost the team championship to Davison (ranked ninth) at the Medina (Ohio) Holiday Tournament by just three-and-a-half points.  At the 2004 National Duals, the two teams went head-to-head… with the St. Ed Eagles getting payback with a decisive 37-22 victory.  St. Ed defeated the other Michigan entry, Clarkson, by an even more impressive score: 60-3. 
College.  In the Division I finals, 2003 NCAA and 2003 National Duals team champion Oklahoma State reconfirmed their titleholder status this season with a decisive 24-6 victory over Big Twelve rival Missouri (who has been ranked second by By winning seven of ten finals bouts, the Cowboys avenged a 21-17 loss to the Tigers earlier this season which had snapped an Oklahoma State 29-meet winning streak.
Michigan's 133 lb Foley Dowd (left) earned the Division I Outstanding Wrestler award after defeating Penn State's Josh Moore (right) as well as 2 time NCAA Champion Johnny Thompson of Oklahoma State
NCAA Division I placings:
1st       Oklahoma State
2nd      Missouri
3rd      Michigan
4th      Penn State
5th      Oklahoma
6th      Hofstra
7th      Minnesota
8th      Pennsylvania
Outstanding wrestler: Foley Dowd, University of Michigan
The Division II championship was a barn-burner between the number-one ranked North Dakota State and Central Oklahoma, ranked second.  When the final bout was complete, the score was tied at 15… with North Dakota State winning on criteria “G” (most nearfall points).   Even sweeter for the Bisons: with the victory, coach Bucky Maughan earned his 400th dual meet win.  This is his fortieth season as coach of NDSU.
NCAA Division II placings:
1st       North Dakota State
2nd          Central Oklahoma
3rd           Nebraska - Omaha
4th           Findlay
5th           Pitt – Johnstown
6th           Ashland
7th           Adams State
8th           UW -- Parkside
Outstanding wrestler: Travis Koppenhafer, Adams State
Johnny Hendricks of Oklahoma State (right) gets pumped up after escaping from bottom in his overtime match with NCAA Champion Ryan Bertin of Michigan (left).
The Division III finals saw yet another meeting between perennial rivals Wartburg and Augsburg.  The Auggies opened with a 6-0 lead… but the Knights won the next five of eight matches to come out as the winner 20-17.
NCAA Division III placings:
1st       Wartburg College
2nd      Augsburg College
3rd      Simpson College
4th      College of New Jersey
5th      UW – LaCrosse
6th      Delaware Valley College
7th      Luther College
8th      Loras College
Outstanding wrestler: Clint Manny, Simpson College
In the NAIA finals at the 2004 National Duals, Montana State University Northern easily handled Missouri Valley 28-9, winning all but two of their matches.  Among the junior colleges, Nassau Community College edged Iowa Central 15-14 in the NJCCA championship finals.
NAIA placings:
1st       Montana State University Northern
2nd      Missouri Valley
3rd      Lindenwood
4th      Menlo
Outstanding wrestler: Emmett Willson, Montana State University Northern
NJCAA placings:
1st       Nassau Community College
2nd      Iowa Central Community College
3rd      William Rainey Harper College
4th      Ellsworth College
Outstanding wrestler: Habif Abdush Shahid, Nassau Community College 

See you next year.  The 2005 National Duals will be held again at Cleveland next January… ready to turn up the heat in this red-hot wrestling hotbed all over again.





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