Three Raiders to wrestle for national championships

Three members of the Southern Oregon wrestling team are set to wrestle for titles tonight at the NAIA National Championships in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Mitchell Lofstedt will wrestle for the national championship at 125 pounds, while Barry Johnson and Kyle Wirkuty will face off against each other for the title at 141.

Saturday's finals can be viewed at

As a team, the Raiders are second with 105.5 points. Top-ranked Notre Dame (Ohio) has all but wrapped up the team race with 152.5 points. The biggest race will be for second, where the Raiders lead regional-rival Great Falls by two points.

With the three that will wrestle in the finals, the Raiders have seven All-Americans.

Lofstedt will be making his second straight trip the finals after finishing second last year. The sophomore won a pair of matches by decision to tie the school record for wins in a season at 42. In the finals, Lofstedt will face off against Cal Baptist's Chauncey Phillips.

Johnson and Wirkuty each casually worked their way through the quarterfinals and semifinals at 141 to both reach the finals. Johnson won an overtime match in the quarters and then a 1-0 decision in the semifinals to punch his ticket. Wirkuty won in overtime in the quarters and then a 4-3 decision over Notre Dame's Adam Koballa to advance to the finals.

This is Johnson's third All-American honor after finishing third the past two years and is Wirkuty's first All-American honor in his first trip to the nationals. The duo both qualified for the regional championship two weeks ago, with Wirkuty forfeiting the title to Johnson.

Brian Jacob (133), Tommie Hooper (157), Ron Lee (197) and John Bates (hwt.) also earned All-American honors.

Jacob and Bates will both wrestle in the consolation semis, while Hooper and Lee will wrestle for seventh place.

Jared Dalgleish (125), Justin Mills (149), Jimmy Eggemeyer (14), Austin Vanderford (174) and Chris Platt (184) were all eliminated Friday afternoon.

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