OPEKA, Kan. – Ricky McCarty and Mason Naifeh of Oklahoma City University collected all-American nods in the NAIA wrestling championships Saturday at the Kansas Expocentre.
McCarty posted his third all-American nod, joining Nik Turner in 2009-10 and 2012 and Zach Skates in 2013-15. The 13th-ranked Stars finished 21st with 26.5 team points.
McCarty, a senior from Lawton, Okla., took sixth place among 165-pounders. Missouri Valley’s Andrew Simmons prevailed 15-0 over McCarty in the fifth-place match. McCarty edged Dalton Tipton from Missouri Valley 4-3 in the championship quarterfinals. McCarty completed his career with a 124-38 record.
Naifeh, a freshman from Tulsa, Okla., picked up eighth in the 125-pound division. Sawyer Miller nipped Naifeh 1-0 in the seventh-place bout. Naifeh fell 5-3 to Adrian Camposano of Campbellsville (Ky.) in the championship quarterfinal. Naifeh then stayed alive in the consolation matches by winning 14-5 over Dimitri Smith from Concordia (Neb.). Naifeh put together a 24-14 mark this season.
Oklahoma City had four NAIA scholar-athlete award winners this season. Jacob King, Lino Gomez, Derek Sivertsen and Brok Williams earned the honor. King, a senior from Rio Rancho, N.M., and Sivertsen, a senior from Moore, Okla., took the award for the second time. Sivertsen’s career record was 116-55. Sivertsen has a 3.76 cumulative grade-point average working towards an accounting degree.
King owns a 3.66 GPA pursuing degrees in business administration and environmental studies. Gomez, a senior from El Paso, Texas, has produced a 3.72 GPA studying cell and molecular biology. Williams, a junior from Lawton, Okla., has compiled a 3.71 GPA majoring in biochemistry and pre-pharmacy.
In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status to qualify for this honor.