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Nebraska-Omaha Looking Strong Heading into Final Session of NCAA Division II Championships



Findlay, Ohio --- The 2006 NCAA Division II National Champion trophy will reside in the state of Nebraska, following the performance of Nebraska-Omaha and Nebraska-Kearney in the third session of the tournament. The Mavs of UNO have opened up a 12.5 point lead over their neigbors to the west with four wrestlers still looking to pick up points in the finals. The Lopers, with three combatants in the championship session, would need wins from all of them and some help from the other teams to make up the difference. Nebraska-Omaha is seeking its third consecutive title and fourth under head coach Mike Denney.

Five top-ranked wrestlers were upended in semifinals and denied a chance for a national title. Fifth-ranked Jamie Thomas of Shippensburg knocked off #1 Trevor Charboneau of Nebraska-Kearney with a 5-3 win in the sudden victory session. That sets up a showdown between Thomas and freshman Cody Garcia of Nebraska-Omaha.

The match-up at 133 pounds will be a showdown of the two top-ranked wrestlers in the class. Brett Allgood of Nebraska-Kearney will put his perfect record on the line against returning champ Andy Uhl of Findlay.

Top-ranked returning champion Thad Benton will look to defend his title against fourth-ranked Kyle Evans of Central Oklahoma at 141. Benton was dominant in three matches, winning 7-0, 9-1 and by fall in 2:46.

Antonio Guerra of Findlay claimed a spot in the 149-pound finals by upsetting top-ranked Ryan King of Augustana by a score of 6-2 in the semis. He will take on Shane Unger of Nebraska-Omaha who needed a sudden victory session to top Shea Timothy of Central Oklahoma in the semis.

At 157 pounds, defending champion Patrick Allibone will not get a chance to defend his crown after getting edged 2-1 by second-ranked David Nordhues of Fort Hays State. Fifth-ranked Brad Becker of Wisconsin-Parkside will challenge him for top-billing after a 13-6 win over unranked Scott Cleve of Adams State.

Top-ranked Zach Shafer of Mercyhurst came through the 165-pound bracket unscathed but will face stiff opposition from Nate Baker of MSU Moorhead. Baker swept his way to the finals with three falls in a combined 8:18. At 174, J.D. Naig of Nebraska-Omaha did not stumble in his bid to repeat. He will face seventh-ranked Michael Jackson of Indianapolis who upended second-ranked Travis Krinkie of Minnesota State in the semifinals.

Third-ranked Mike Corcetti of Pittsburgh-Johnstown edged top-ranked Greg Nurrenbern of Truman State to set up a showdown with Tanner Linsacum of Nebraska-Kearney. Linsacum earned his chance for a title by slipping past second-ranked John Koons of Minnesota State.

Defending champion Corey Jacoby of Shippensburg went through top-ranked Tim Boldt of Augustana to head to the finals for the second time in as many seasons. He will face Plamen Paskalev of Central Missouri State who earned a one-point win of his own over 2004 champion Jeff Sylvester. of Nebraska-Kearney.

The heavyweight division will have a familiar face on the mat in the finals. Senior Les Sigman of Nebraska-Omaha used a fall and a technical fall to cruise to the semifinals and earned a comparatively slim 3-0 win over Chris Finn of Central Oklahoma to gain entry to his fourth career national championship match. The task of stopping the undefeated Sigman's march to a fourth title will fall to Tervel Dlagnev of Nebraska-Kearney. Dlagnev entered the tournament ranked third nationally.

The finals get underway at the Koehler Fitness Center on the campus of the University of Findlay at 7:15 p.m. Eastern.
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