Pratt Community College wrestlers Jake Beeson and Michael Spangler have wrestled their way into the national rankings, and at the February 22 West Central District Tournament in Miami, Oklahoma the pair backed up their lofty standings. Spangler at 125 pounds, and Beeson at 149 pounds, both took first place at the district tournament, locking down what will eventually become formidable seeding at the NJCAA Championships.
Spangler opened with a matchup against Northwest Kansas Technical College's Talyn Perez, winning by technical fall midway near the end of the first period by a score of 16-1. Spangler scored an early takedown not 30 seconds through the period, leading to a two-point near fall. Perez escaped, though Pratt's mighty 125-pounder took Perez down with just over a minute remaining, which was followed by three-consecutive near falls.
In the semi-final match, Spangler again had his hand raised following a pin fall over Cowley County's Corwin Strachan. Spangler led 2-1 entering the second period, where he started on the bottom. Spangler expanded his lead to 4-1 after a reversal. Strachan escaped, but a late in the period, Spangler scored a takedown and two-point nearfall as the period expired. Again starting the third period on the ground, Spangler scored a reversal, and eventually secured the pin with a minute remaining in the third period. Spangler eventually bested the gauntlet of the 125 pound division by winning a 6-2 decision in the final match, topping Northeast Oklahoma's Luke Montgomery.
The burly Beeson also had his way with the presented competition. In his first match, Beeson pinned Cloud County's Tristin Hauck 48 seconds into the first period, setting up a meeting with Barton's Kolby Droegemeier. Droegemeier managed to take a quick two-point lead following takedown. Beeson reversed position nearly a minute later, as the first period ended 2-2. Starting the second period on top, Beeson worked his way to a six-point period thanks to two near falls. Beeson chose the bottom at the start of the third period, and 20 seconds later, scored a reversal to give him a 10-2 lead. Droegemeier was hit with a stalling call with just over a minute remaining in the match, as Beeson took a 11-2 majority decision.
Though Beeson was scheduled to face Northwest Tech's Elijah Tanner, Pratt's formidable 149-pounder was awarded the win due to a forfeit.
Along with Beeson and Spangler, Bryce Westmoreland, Misael Monarrez, Bobby Williams and Darius Wilkins also qualified for the NJCAA National Championships. Westmoreland finished second at 197 pounds, with Wilkins (285), Monarrez (174), and Williams (184) placing third, fourth, and sixth, respectively.
Next for the Beavers are the National Championships in Council Bluffs, Iowa on March 6-7.