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The Lakeland College wrestling team hopes to make its goal of winning a fifth straight Northern Wrestling Association Tournament a reality this Saturday as Lakeland hosts the five-team tournament in the Todd Wehr Center Fieldhouse.
The Muskies will depend on seniors Robby Frias and Miguel Luis and junior Ryan Renon to lead a squad of young grapplers.
Renon and Luis placed first in the 165- and 174-pound weight class, respectively, at the 2011 NWA Tournament and hope to repeat that success this Saturday. Frias finished second in a tough 141 weight class and will be on the attack to earn a title at 149 in his final NWA Tournament appearance.
Sophomores Grant Franson and Tom Phalin and freshman David Galarno are expected to make title runs at 125, 285 and 174, respectively. Phalin finished second at the NWA Tournament last year, while Franson finished fourth.
Lakeland had four grapplers take titles in their respective weight class to accumulate 102 team points and edged MSOE's three first-place finishes and 94.5 team points. The Raiders return all three title winners this Saturday, including senior Jake Narveson at 141, junior Caleb Staub at 184 and junior Steve Nguyen at 285.
Concordia University Wisconsin returns its two title winners from last year, including sophomore Alec Silva at 125 and junior Marcus Lubner at 133. The Falcons finished third with 69 team points.
Knox College finished fourth in 2011 with 55.5 team points and had one first-place finisher. Sophomore Eric Steingruber earned the title at 149 and is poised to take the 2012 title. Steingruber along with seniors Alex Faulkner at 184 and James Wagner at 285 will lead the Prairie Fire.
Maranatha Baptist Bible College struggled at last year's NWA Tournament with 9.5 team points and one fourth-place finisher. Sophomore Josiah Brendemuehl led the Crusaders and returns as the team's top wrestler.
Fans can follow their favorite wrestlers throughout the day using Track Wrestling: http://www.trackwrestling.com/opentournaments/VerifyPassword.jsp?tournamentId=55076.
Lakeland will also be live video streaming the championship matches and can be found here: http://lakeland.edu/Athletics/muskies_live.asp