DES MOINES — Brandon Weber got his rematch.
The former three-time Forsyth state champion who won 200 matches in his prep career advanced to his third consecutive NAIA national wrestling championship on Saturday, earning a 157-pound rematch from last year’s final against Life University (Georgia) star Nosomy Pozo, a three-time national champion who wouldn’t be denied his fourth straight title.
Pozo earned a 6-5 decision Saturday evening, securing his fourth straight national championship, while Weber had to settle for his second consecutive runner-up finish after winning a national title his sophomore season. It was the second straight year Weber fell to Pozo by a single point.
Weber took an early 1-0 advantage on a technical violation from Pozo, but the Life all-American garnered two points on a takedown nearly a minute into the first period for a 2-1 lead, though Weber would escape and tie the match 2-2 entering the second frame.
After scoring the only point in the second period, an escape for a 3-2 lead, Weber lost control and allowed a reversal to trail 4-3. After allowing Weber to escape and tie the match at 4-4, Pozo added a takedown in the final 15 seconds to jump ahead 6-4, and though Weber escaped in the final five seconds to get within 6-5, he couldn’t secure a takedown for the win.
Weber, a redshirt senior, capped his Lights’ career as a three-time national finalist, two-time runner-up and 2017 national champion.
Northern’s Isaac Bartel also earned runner-up honors Saturday evening, his at 197 pounds. The sophomore met Grand View two-time champion Evan Hansen in the finals and fell behind 3-0 in the second period following an escape and takedown from Hansen.
Bartel began the third period down, grabbing an escape to get on the scoreboard, but Hansen picked up another takedown to take a 5-1 advantage into the final minute of the period, eventually holding on for the 6-4 decision.
It was the first championship appearance for Bartel, who placed third as a freshman in last winter’s national championships, making him a two-time all-American. Hansen won his third national title.
Isaac’s older brother, Andrew, also captured another all-American season, placing third in the 165-pound weight class. Andrew Bartel placed third in last season’s national championships.
Andrew defeated Eastern Oregon rival Drake Randall in the 165-pound consolation, a 3-2 decision, after falling in the semifinals to eventual national champion Brett Bradford of Lindsey Wilson (Minnesota).
University of Providence wrestler Adrian Lyons-Lopez, the No. 1 seed at 165 pounds, also fell in Saturday’s semifinals, then was pinned by Randall in the consolation semis. Lyons-Lopez, a national runner-up a year ago, secured fifth place with a victory by fall in only 47 seconds.
His Argo teammate Casey Dobson also earned all-American honors by placing seventh in the 157-pound bracket. The former Great Falls High wrestler fell to Pozo in the quarterfinals, but earned a 5-1 decision in the seventh-place match to add another all-American accolade to his resume.
Former Sidney four-time state champion Gresh Jones, who entered this season ranked No. 2 in the nation, placed third at 133 pounds. Jones had a bye to open the tournament, then won his next two matches, first a technical fall, then major decision, before dropping a 10-7 decision in the semifinals. After an 8-1 victory in the consolation semifinals, he captured a 9-6 decision to secure his third-place finish and all-American effort.