NMU based Greco-Roman Wrestlers Earn U23 National Titles
MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Northern Michigan University National Training Site Greco-Roman wrestlers Jesse Porter and George Hooker topped the podium at the U23 Nationals this weekend in Omaha, Nebraska.
Competing at 77 kg, Porter earned his fourth U23 National championship. In the gold-medal match, Porter faced 2018 Junior World Team member Ty Dow (Wisconsin RT). Dow would receive the first point in the match on a passive call against Porter. Porter answered by taking Dow to the mat with a headlock, earning four points. He never looked back, taking the match 11-0. His performance also earned him the Outstand Wrestler award for the competition.
Wrestling at 97 kg and earning his first National Championship was George Hooker. Hooker met Michaela Loyola (unattached) for the championship. Loyola would earn the first point of the match, pushing Hooker out of the circle. Hooker countered with a four-point throw to take the lead and he went on to win the match 6-2.
Typically, first-place finishers earn a spot on the U23 World Team, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was cancelled by the United World Wrestling Federation.
The NMU squad also picked up three additional U23 medals and three other top-eight finishes.
Also taking place alongside the U23 Nationals were the Junior National Championships. The NTS team earned five top-five finishes in that event.
Peak, who also competed in the U23, finished second in both events. In the U23 portion, Peak was unable to wrestle in the gold-medal match, losing the match by injury default. Peak faced four-time Kansas state champion Dayton Porsch in the 67 kg Junior National finals, losing that match by pin.
Stepanian, who placed second at 60 kg, outscored his opponents 29-10 before facing Chayse LaJoie (Spartan Combat) in the first-place bout. Finishing the first period down 0-5, Stepanian was unable to overtake Lajoie falling 2-10.
UWW U23 National Championship Results63 KG Erik Spence, Second Place67kg Duncan Nelson, Eighth Place67kg Benji Peak, Second Place72kg Riley Briggs, Fourth Place77kg Jesse Porter, First Place82kg DM Hallett, Fifth Place87kg George Sikes, Third Place97kg George Hooker, First Place97kg Tim Eubanks, Third Place
UWW Junior National Championship Results55 KG Jacob Cochran, Third Place60 KG David Stepanian, Second Place63 KG Jakob Murillo, Fifth Place63 KG Tarrell Wallace, Third Place67 KG Benji Peak, Second Place
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