On Saturday, nine Wildcat wrestlers placed in the top six at the Hastings Open, with two Wildcats reaching the finals. Leading Baker and accomplishing another first for Baker wrestling was freshman Brandon Gebhardt (pictured), who was crowned Baker’s first tournament champion. Gebhardt (197, Sparks, Nev.) faced a rematch in the finals against Michael Byrd of Hastings College, the same wrestler who had defeated him the night before in the dual. Gebhardt won by fall.
Also reaching the finals was fellow freshman Jacob Nowak (184, Overland Park, Kan.). This was the second tournament finals of the year for Nowak, who finished second with a 4-1 loss to University of Nebraska-Omaha’s Matt Baker.
Other placers for Baker were freshman Billy Benz (125, Gardner, Kan.) and junior Clarence Jordan (174, Waterloo, Iowa) finishing fourth. Finishing fifth were freshman Alan Callahan (125, Baldwin City, Kan.) and Nathan Sommer (157, Parker, Kan.). Three Wildcats finished sixth: freshmen Jordan McGuire (133, Edmond, Okla.) and Kalem Bennett (141, Topeka, Kan.) and senior Levi Calhoun (285, Oklahoma Cty, Okla.).
Rounding out the accomplishments on the day was the addition of two NAIA national qualifiers: Brandon Gebhardt (197) and Levi Calhoun (285), bringing the number of national qualifiers to nine so far.
Baker wrestling will be back in action on Saturday, Jan. 16, at the Red Raider Open at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa.