The North Idaho College wrestling team will seek its 28th Region 18 tournament championship in the last 30 years when the national-qualifying tourney is held Saturday at Clackamas College in Oregon City, Ore.
NIC coach Pat Whitcomb takes one of his youngest teams to the regional meet. He returned just one starter, sophomore 174-pounder Dino May of Cove, Ore. Although the seeding meeting isn’t until today, Whitcomb expected No. 1 seeds for May; sophomore Tim McGoldrick (149), a transfer from Rider University; and freshmen Nektoe Demison (125), of Bakersfield, Calif.; and Moses Lake products Steve Vasquez (184) and Brett Fredrickson (197).
The top three at each weight qualify for nationals, Feb. 22-23 in Rochester, Minn.
Whitcomb said NIC and Clackamas figure to battle for the team title.
“We split with them. So with (regional) being at their place, it gives them an advantage,” Whitcomb said.
He expects to qualify a wrestler at each weight for nationals.
“There are a couple of weights that are pretty deep,” Whitcomb said. “If we’re going to win a regional title, we’d have to stick everyone in the top three.”
NIC has been ranked as high as fourth in the NJCAA poll and recently dropped to 12th.
“I think we’re about where we would be with as young as we were coming into the year,” Whitcomb said.
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