In a tournament doused with NAIA talent, Josh Swanson
(So., Knoxville, Knoxville HS) led Penn with a dominating performance to capture gold at 157 pounds.
Swanson was barely tested throughout the day as he finished 5-0, including two major decisions and two technical falls, including a 15-0 technical fall over Nick Zumwalt of Dickinson State (N.D.) in the championship match.
125-pounder Taylor Louie
(So., West Covina, Calif., West Covina HS) and 141-pounder Marcus Cobbs
(Jr., Chicago, Ill., Harper CC) advanced to the finals as well, but neither were able to join Swanson on top of the medalist stand.
Louie was 3-1 with two falls and an injury default victory, while Cobbs also finished 3-1 with a technical fall and a major decision. Due to their runner-up finishes, both Louie and Cobbs have each qualified for the 2009 NAIA Wrestling National Championships, giving Penn now a total of six national qualifiers.Royce Thomas
(Sr., Santa Rosa, Calif., Santa Rosa CC), at 174 pounds, and Ryan Groom
(Fr., Oskaloosa, Oskaloosa HS), at 285 pounds, also found success Saturday with identical 3-2 records. Thomas, who finished fifth, had one technical fall and one major decision to his credit, while Groom collected two falls on the day. Groom was in line to compete for fifth place, but the heavyweight class did not wrestle off for the 5th-8th places.
Penn travels to Minneapolis, Minn. next Saturday to compete in the Augsburg Invitational. Action begins at 9 a.m.