Jayhawks' 149-Pounder Wins Consolation Bracket After Overtime Loss In Semifinals
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — For the second straight year, Jamestown Community College's Nate Skonieczny left the NJCAA Wrestling Championships at the Mid-America Center as a third-place finisher.
Skonieczny lost his morning 149-pound semifinal match against top-ranked Josh Reyes of Clackamas CC, 4-2, in overtime.
After a scoreless first period, Skonieczny picked up an escape point in the second period for a 1-0 lead. Reyes then earned his own escape point in the third period to send the match to overtime. Skonieczny picked up another escape point in the fifth period and Reyes countered with an escape in the sixth period before a takedown with 15 seconds left in the seventh period gave the match to Reyes, the eventual champion of the weight class.
"It was a real tight match the whole way through between two very high-caliber wrestlers," Jamestown CC assistant coach Kevin Strong said. "Nate had a fair amount of opportunities that he couldn't convert. He caught Nate stepping. It was a quick two points."
In the consolation semifinals, Skonieczny earned a 12-3 major decision over Otero Junior College's Anthony Hinkle.
Skonieczny earned a two-point takedown in the first period before an escape and two takedowns in the second period gave the Jayhawks sophomore a 7-2 lead. In the third period, Skonieczny earned two more takedowns and two riding-time points for the 12-3 win.
In the third-place match, Skonieczny beat Iowa Central CC's Brandon Murray, 3-1, in overtime.
"I think it says a whole lot, even more than last year. His weight class was stacked. I would say the hardest class in junior college this year. The fourth-place kid was tied with the champion going into the third period. He was right there with the guy who won the tournament. He came back and wrestled better after he lost than he did in the semifinals," Strong said about Skonieczny winning the consolation bracket. "I think it goes to show he's resilient to come back two years in a row and place highly. We worked all year for a national title. It didn't happen, but instead of breaking down, he wrestled back and came back strong for third place."
Murray took a 1-0 lead with an escape in the second period before Skonieczny tied the bout with an escape at 1:52 of the third period. After the next three periods went scoreless, Skonieczny picked up a takedown 13 seconds into the seventh period for the victory.
"I couldn't be prouder of our staff — Kris Schimek, Kevin and volunteer assistant Ryan Guynup. What they did this year to keep the program together and moving forward, it only shows what can happen," Jamestown CC athletic director Keith Martin said. "To watch the three young men work with Nate all year long to get him ready to be a national champion — which he was so close to being — is a credit to them as coaches. The future is bright for JCC wrestling with these young men as our coaches going forward.
"Hopefully the local recruits will see that and really put our program on the map in the years going forward," Martin added.
NOTES: Skonieczny was looking to become the third Jamestown CC wrestler to win at nationals after Lee Guzzo in 1975 and Phil Roblee in 1977.
Article courtesy of the Jamestown Post Journal (http://www.post-journal.com/sports/local-sports/2017/02/skonieczny-finishes-third-again/)