PEMBROKE — Former Chatham Central three-time state champion wrestler Nick Daggett is one of eight UNC-Pembroke wrestlers who punched their tickets to the NCAA Division II National Championships …
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PEMBROKE — Former Chatham Central three-time state champion wrestler Nick Daggett is one of eight UNC-Pembroke wrestlers who punched their tickets to the NCAA Division II National Championships this weekend in Cleveland, Ohio.
Dagget and the 13th-ranked Braves finished runner up at the 2019 NCAA Super Region 2 Tournament on two weeks ago down in Hartsville, S.C.
Daggett (125 pounds) and Rodney Shepard (165) will make the trip to nationals for the second straight year, and will be joined this time around by first-timers in teammates Ronnie Pietro (133), Jonathan Miller (141), Kaleb Warner (149), Tyler Makosy (157), Faris Teia (174) and Brandon Sloop (184).
The performance matches the 2003-04 club for the most national qualifiers in the 55-year history of the program. The Braves registered a 12th-place finish at the 2003-04 Division II National Championships in Mankato, Minn.
Six Braves made appearances in the title bout of their respective tournaments on Friday, with Daggett and Pietro both tallying wins of the bonus-point variety, while Makosy won an overtime decision. Warner, Shepard and Sloop all fell on the wrong end of decisions decided by three or less points in their championship matches.
Miller suffered a tight 3-2 loss in his semifinal match-up at 141 pounds, but rebounded with a pair of convincing victories in the consolation bracket. Teia dropped his opening match of the day, but won three-straight match-ups in the consolation bracket of the 174-pound tournament to capture third place honors.
Marcus Montgomery dropped his opening match of the day as well, but won two of his three match-ups in the 197-pound wrestleback tournament on the way to finishing fifth.
Unranked Newberry (137.5 points) used a forfeit in the championship match of the 285-pound tournament to finish 3-1/2 points better than the Braves in the final team standings. Limestone finished third with 132.5 points, while King (71.0) and Belmont Abbey (66.5) rounded out the top 5.
The No. 6 seeded Daggett (26-6) will open the NCAA Division II National Championships in Cleveland on Saturday against the winner of Joe Renne (11-9) of Kutztown University and Josiah Seaton (21-15) of CSU Pueblo in the 125-pound weight class.
Action will continue through Sunday when 10 divisions crown national champions.