ORLANDO, Fla. --- California Baptist University's Chris Santana won his match by injury default at 149, but it wasn't quite enough as the NAIA All-Americans defeated the NCWA All-Americans, 23-15, Saturday in the second American Airlines Champions Challenge in Orlando, Fla.
The first-of-its-kind dual match showcased many of the top wrestlers from each association with six NAIA and four NCWA wrestlers who competed for national titles last year in their respective associations.
With the NAIA squad leading 6-3 after the first three matches,
Santana was leading 5-1 in the second period over Danny Hutcheson of Dakota
Wesleyan. He scored a takedown and a near-fall before Hutcheson, a two-time
NAIA National Qualifier, withdrew due to an injury. The six points gave the
NCWA its first lead of the match, 9-6. Santana's six-point win accounted for
more than one-third of the NCWA's points.
It was Hutcheson's first match this season after sitting out the fall semester while being gone with the National Guard.
The NCWA led 15-13 heading into the final three matches when a trio of Missouri Valley wrestlers each picked up wins to score 10 total points and clinch the match for the NAIA. In last year's inaugural challenge, the NAIA won, 39-3.
2011 American Airlines Champions Challenge
Sat., Jan. 15, at The Venue in Orlando, Fla.
125 lbs. - Paulie Hansen, Missouri Valley, def. Alex
Chiracosta, Central Florida, 12-10 (OT)
NAIA leads 3-0
133 lbs. - Steve DeAugustino, Central Florida, def. Anton Prater, Missouri Baptist, 8-5
141 lbs. - Drew Smith, Morningside (Iowa), def. Kendall
Albert, Kennesaw State (Ga.), 1-0
NAIA leads 6-3
149 lbs. - Chris Santana, California Baptist, def.
Danny Hutcheson, Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.), injury default
NCWA leads 9-6
157 lbs. - Brad Cusatis, Hastings (Neb.), def. Ricky
Anderson, Apprentice (Va.), 12-2
NAIA leads 10-9
165 lbs. - Joe Sievert, Morningside (Iowa), def. Dustin
Tancredi, West Chester (Pa.), 8-2
NAIA leads 13-9
174 lbs. - Kevin Bacci, West Chester (Pa.), def. Jameon
Rush, Hastings (Neb.), by fall 2:55
NCWA leads 15-13
184 lbs. - Jesse Alter, Missouri Valley, def. Ben Brummel,
South Carolina, 5-3
NAIA leads 16-15
197 lbs. - Charles Gibbs, Missouri Valley, def. Richard
Rippy, Central Florida, 11-4
NAIA leads 19-15
285 lbs. - Travis Ewart, Missouri Valley, def. Brian
Milford, Texas A&M, 11-3
NAIA wins, 23-15