Zach Merrill and Bradford Gerl won individual national championships.
Courtesy: Lennie Zalesky
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Champions of the Mat
Courtesy: CBU  
Release: 03/16/2013
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ALLEN, Texas --- Victory would not be denied as California Baptist University took the title of National Collegiate Wrestling Association champions on Saturday.

CBU outlasted all other division I schools in the tournament earning 145.5 team points. These team points gave the Lancers their second national title in three years.

Zach Merrill and Bradford Gerl played a huge role in attaining this championship as they both were individual national champions at their weight class.

Merrill entered the tournament heavily favored to win at 285-pounds, and he proved why by earning the national championship with a 3-0 decision over Ross Janney from McKendree.

Merrill went 5-0 at the national tournament, earning three pins, a major decision and the decision that gave him the championship. This is Merrill's second consecutive NCWA title.

Gerl was not favored at 141-pounds, he actually entered the tournament not even seeded. He proved the doubters wrong with his impressive run to a national title.

He was also 5-0 with two wins by fall, two wins by decision and an overtime win that put him into the finals.

In the finals Gerl faced the No. 1 seeded Craig Chiles from Lindenwood-St. Charles. Chiles was favored in the tournament and finished in second place one year ago.

Gerl pinned him just 1:44 in to send Chiles to his second straight year of finishing in second place. This is Gerl's first individual national championship.

Seven other Lancers finished in the top eight of their class and earned All-American honors.

Taylor Hall finished fourth at 125-pounds following a 4-2 tournament. Dakota Thayer finished third in the country at 133-pounds, going 6-1 this weekend.

Miguel Gallegos finished 3-3 at the tournament, and placed eighth at 141-pounds. Anthony Ballinger ended the year on a high note, wrapping up seventh place at 165-pounds.

Kenneth Tribble also wrapped up a strong year by going 4-2 and finishing seventh at 174-pounds. Paul Head finished seventh at 184-pounds and David Dill finished fifth at 197-pounds to round out the top finishers and All-Americans for the Lancers.

CBU had a great year in tournaments, finishing with 18 individual champions. However, they did struggle a bit in duals, only posting a 6-11 mark.

All that falls by the wayside though, because on the final day of the season, the Lancers were crowned champions in Texas.


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