Much like the recent NJCAA wrestling tournament, North Idaho College finished runner-up in its bid to bring the national championship to the Inland Northwest.
NIC athletic director Al Williams learned Thursday that the NJCAA has decided to keep the two-day tournament in Rochester, Minn., which has been the host site since 1999. NIC, in conjunction with the Spokane Regional Sports Commission, submitted a bid to host the 2007-09 tournaments at the Spokane Convention Center that is under construction.
“I’m kind of bummed,” said Williams, who joined the SRSC’s Chris Frye in making a 10-minute pitch Wednesday to the Championship Events Committee in Charlotte, N.C., during the NJCAA’s annual meetings. “I really thought we had a good chance of winning it because of all the positives of having it in the Northwest.”
The committee’s reasons for selecting Rochester weren’t clear, Williams said.
“There was nothing specific for us that we have to go back to the drawing board,” Williams said. “They said both the bids were very close, but Rochester had the history over us. (History) is sometimes good and bad because all history isn’t good.”
NIC would consider bidding for the event in the future, Williams said, but he hopes some changes in the process are in place by then.
“Because of the negotiations and questions we’ve had, I think the one positive that will come of this is the process will change,” Williams said. “Hopefully, the wrestling committee will have information about the bid beforehand and they’ll be able to give their thoughts to the championship committee. Right now, it’s reversed.”
NIC, which has won 13 national titles, finished second at the NJCAA Tournament in late February.