CEDAR RAPIDS – The American Rivers Conference announced its end-of-season wrestling awards Friday, March 29, 2019 with Wartburg’s Kyle Briggs (Cedar Rapids, Iowa / Jefferson), Cross Cannone (Trumbull, Conn. / Trumbull) and Loras’ Clint Lembeck (Marion, Iowa / Xavier) headlining the announcement as American Rivers Conference MVPs. Loras Head Coach, TJ Miller was voted A-R-C Coach of the Year and Wartburg’s Brady Firtz (Tama, Iowa / South Tama) was selected Freshman of the Year.
In addition, the 2018-19 American Rivers All-Conference Wrestling Team was official announced. The 30-member team is composed of the top three A-R-C place-winners at the NCAA Division III Lower Midwest Regional Championships. The wrestler or wrestlers who finished highest at the NCAA Championships are deemed American Rivers Conference Most Valuable Performers, while the Freshman and Coach of the Year awards are voted on by the league’s head coaches.
Most Valuable Performer – Kyle Briggs, Wartburg College
Briggs, seeded third at the NCAA Championships matched his seed with a third-place finish. The Cedar Rapids Jefferson prep opened the tournament with a fall and picked up a decision in the second round. In a hard-fought semifinal battle, Briggs came up just short, dropping the match 5-4. On the consolation side of the bracket he defeated the fifth and fourth seeded wrestlers to earn third-place.
Most Valuable Performer – Cross Cannone, Wartburg College
Cannone’s storied career was capped off with a third-place finish at this year’s NCAA Championships. The Trumbull, Conn. native finished the year 31-1 and totaled 118 career wins. Cannone’s efforts made him a three-time All-American, finishing runner-up in 2017 and National Champion in 2018 at 149lbs. and earning third-place at 157lbs in 2019. This is the second MVP honor for Cannone.
Most Valuable Performer – Clint Lembeck, Loras College
In this his junior season, Lembeck finished third at 141lbs. to become a two-time All-American. The Marion, Iowa native finished fifth in 2017. Lembeck won his first two matches before falling to the eventual national champion David Flynn of Augsburg in the semifinals 4-2. Lembeck bounced back in the consolation bracket, winning his next two to finish third.
Freshman of the Year – Brady Fritz, Wartburg College
Firtz earned sixth-place in the 141lbs. bracket in 2019. After dropping his opening round match, Fritz battled through five matched in the consolation bracket to earn his place on the podium. The blood round saw Fritz defeat two-time All-American and No.1 seed, Troy Stanich of Stevens, securing All-American honors for himself.
Coach of the Year – TJ Miller, Loras College
In his third season at the helm of the Loras College wrestling program, TJ Miller was voted American Rivers Conference Coach of the Year by the conference’s head coaches. Miller is earning his second Coach of the Year honor (2017, 2019). Miller led the Duhawks to a 7-1 dual meet record in conference action and 13-2 overall. After leading the Loras to a program best finish at the NCAA Championships in 2017 (6th), Miller’s squad made history once again in 2019, finishing runner-up. The Duhawks finished with 66.0 team points, fueled by five All-Americans in Clint Lembeck (3rd – 141lbs.), Brandon Murray (4th – 157lbs.), Eddie Smith (4th – 165lbs.), Jacob Krakow (8th – 174lbs.) and Guy Patron Jr. (6th – 197lbs.).
American Rivers Conference wrestlers secured 23 of the 30 qualifying spots to the NCAA Championships in 2019. Of the 23 American Rivers wrestlers moving onto the NCAA Championships, eight were crowned Lower Midwest Region Champions and eight earned second-place. Four weight classes took all three qualifying spots (125lbs., 133lbs., 165lbs., 174lbs.) Thirteen A-R-C wrestlers competed for third-place with seven earning the win and qualifying for the national tournament.
At the conclusion of the 2019 NCAA Division III Wrestling National Championships at the Berglund Center in Roanoke, Virginia, 13 of the 23 wrestlers from the American Rivers Conference earned All-American honors. Three wrestled back to third-place, two took fourth, one earned fifth, four finished in sixth and three took eighth.
The American Rivers All-Conference team is made up of eight wrestlers from Loras and Wartburg, followed by Coe with five, Central with four and Luther with two. Buena Vista, Dubuque and Nebraska Wesleyan each finished had one wrestler earn All-Conference.
12 of the 30 All-Conference selections are earning at least their second honor while Daniel Radcliffe of Central, Cole Erickson of Coe, Loras’ Patron Jr. and Guin Gilliam and Wartburg’s Cannone all became three-time honorees.
|Name||Wt.||Regional Finish||School||Yr.||Hometown/High school|
|Cameron Timok &||125||1st-place||Central||Sr.||Glen Allen, Wa./Hermitage|
|Eron Haynes||125||2nd-place||Nebraska Wesleyan||Fr.||Omaha, Neb./Omaha Central|
|Brady Kyner||125||3rd-place||Wartburg||So.||Carlisle, Iowa/S.E. Warren|
|Brock Rathbun $ ^||133||1st-place||Wartburg||So.||Central City, Iowa/Center Point|
|Brice Eveson||133||2nd-place||Loras||Jr.||Camance, Iowa/Camanche|
|Chase Petty||133||3rd-place||Central||Sr.||Pella, Iowa/Pella|
|Clint Lembeck &||141||1st-place||Loras||Jr.||Marion, Iowa/Xavier|
|Brady Fritz||141||3rd-place||Wartburg||Fr.||Tama, Iowa/South Tama|
|Daniel Radcliffe & $||141||4th-place||Central||Jr.||Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township|
|Kristian Rumph||149||1st-place||Wartburg||Fr.||Portage, Ind./Portage|
|Kevin Kelly $||149||2nd-place||Loras||Sr.||Covina, Calif./South Hills|
|Robert Areyano||149||5th-place||Central||Fr.||Selma, Calif./Selma|
|Cross Cannone & $ %||157||1st-place||Wartburg||Sr.||Trumbull, Conn./Trumbull|
|Brandon Murray||157||2nd-place||Loras||Jr.||Toms River, N.J./Toms River South|
|Cole Erickson & $||157||4th-place||Coe||Jr.||Mediapolis, Iowa/Mediapolis|
|Eddie Smith &||165||1st-place||Loras||Jr.||Prairie du Sac, Wis./Sauk Prairie|
|Brad Kerkhoff #||165||2nd-place||Buena Vista||Sr.||Audubon, Iowa/Audubon|
|Michael Suarez||165||3rd-place||Luther||Sr.||La Quinta, Calif./Desert Mirage|
|Kyle Briggs||174||1st-place||Wartburg||So.||Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Cedar Rapids Jefferson|
|Jake Voss $||174||2nd-place||Coe||Sr.||Ryan, Iowa/West Delaware|
|Jacob Krakow||174||3rd-place||Loras||So.||Marengo, Iowa/Iowa Valley|
|Tevin Bailey||184||2nd-place||Dubuque||So.||Reno, Nev./Damonte Ranch|
|Josh Edel||184||3rd-place||Coe||Jr.||Marshalltown, Iowa/Marshalltown|
|Ira Kuehn||184||4th-place||Luther||So.||Dewitt, Iowa/Central Dewitt|
|Guy Patron Jr. & ~ $||197||1st-place||Loras||Jr.||Harvey, La./Jesuit|
|Taylor Mehmen||197||3rd-place||Coe||Jr.||Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Cedar Rapids Prairie|
|Kobe Woods||197||4th-place||Wartburg||So.||Mishawaka, Ind./Penn|
|Bowen Wileman||285||2nd-place||Wartburg||Sr.||Milton, Wis./Milton|
|Kaleb Reeves||285||5th-place||Coe||Fr.||Sigourney, Iowa/Sigourney|
|Quin Gilliam ! & $||285||6th-place||Loras||Sr.||Shreveport, La./C.E. Byrd|
$ – 2017-18 All-Conference
% – 2017-18 MVP
^ – 2017-18 Freshman of the Year
& – 2016-17 All-Conference
* – 2016-17 MVP
~ – 2016-17 Freshman of the Year
! – 2015-16 All-Conference
@ – 2015-16 MVP
# – 2015-16 Freshman of the Year
$ – 2014-15 All-Conference
% – 2014-15 MVP
^ – 2014-15 Freshman of the Year