Clackamas Community College wrestlers win third straight national title
Pandemic or no pandemic, there's just no stopping the Clackamas Community College wrestling team.
CCC won the National Junior College Athletic Association national championship for the third year in a row, outpacing second-place Western Wyoming by just 5.5 points. The tournament was held April 21-22 at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
"In a year that was anything but common, our team did something that was uncommon," said Clackamas Community College head wrestling coach Josh Rhoden. "They fought through adversity. They worked hard and remained focused all year with much of this year in doubt. Our coaching staff is supremely proud of these young men."
The team race was an exciting one throughout, with the championship in doubt until the final round of the tournament when CCC's 133-pounder Zeth Brower earned a fall, which not only secured his own individual national championship but propelled Clackamas to victory over Western Wyoming.
Top five team scores from the tournament included: Clackamas 152.5, Western Wyoming 147, Iowa Central 129, Pratt 126.5, Northeastern Oklahoma 125.
"(The team) fought through adversity. They worked hard and remained focused all year with much of this year in doubt."
— Josh Rhoden,
CCC head wrestling coach
Top individual finishers for CCC included: Zeth Brower, 133 pounds, national champion; Cameron Enriquez, 125, national runner-up; Marckis Branford, 141, third; Deville Dentis, 149, third; Dax Bennett, 174, third; Tarik Sutkovic, 197, third; Mike Gasper, 184, fifth; Trent Silva, 157, fifth; Kyle Richards, 285, round of 12; and Jake Richardson, 165, round of 12.
"Our guys wrestled so inspired, selfless and hard," Rhoden said. "That is a very hard mentality to beat, even though at times it felt like us against the world. These guys remained present and in the moment. I'm so proud of these young men,"
The win secured the Cougars' third national championship in a row and the program's fifth overall, with four of those during Rhoden's tenure. The three-peat makes them one of only four other schools in the history of the NJCAA to achieve the feat.
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