The Baker Orange

Shoemaker wins national title

Story by Lauren Bechard

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Freshman Bryce Shoemaker became the first NAIA wrestling national champion in Baker University history on Saturday in Topeka at the Kansas Expocentre.

The Baldwin City native climbed his way to the top of the 133-pound weight bracket, where he took down the No. 1 seed Justin Brooks for the championship. Shoemaker defeated Justin Brooks, a senior from Indiana Tech University by a 3-0 decision.

Shoemaker earned the national title and 20 points for his team after beating out three other contenders during the tournament, all by decision.

BU finished nationals with a score of 26 and tied for 16th place. Junior Nick Haugen and senior Parker Owen earned additional points for the Wildcats.

Haugen wrestled his way to an eighth-place finish out of 21 wrestlers in the 149-pound weight class, earning 5.50 points for Baker and an All-America honor for his performance.

Owen added 0.50 points to the team’s score. Seniors Alan Callahan and John Hambleton also represented Baker at the national tournament in the 125-pound and 184-pound events, respectively.

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