SPOKANE, Wash. -- Zach Loveless and Diorian Coleman were crowned national champions and the Northwest College wrestling team finished second at the NJCAA Wrestling Championships here Saturday.
The fourth-ranked Trappers finished with 149 points. Finishing as runner-up for Northwest was freshman Jonathan Wixom of Utah at 197 pounds. Loveless (141) is a sophomore from Utah and Coleman (165) a sophomore from Arizona.
Northeastern Oklahoma A&M claimed the national championship with 169 points. This season the Golden Norsemen reinstated the wrestling team after a 20-year hiatus. The national title is the first for NEO's wrestling program, which was a prominent NJCAA team from 1975-93. The Golden Norsemen entered the tourney ranked second.
Clackamas Community College, which was top-ranked, finished third with 139.
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Loveless also received the Joseph Rockenbach Sportsmanship Award.
Current North Idaho coach Pat Whitcomb was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Whitcomb has been the Cardinals' coach for 17 years. He wrestled for North Idaho, Oklahoma University and Western Montana College. At Western Montana, he finished second at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national tournament.
Also inducted into the Hall of Fame was Kenny Rucker, a former North Idaho College and Northern Montana College wrestler. Rucker, a native of Harvey, Ill., was the NAIA 177-pound national champion in 1989. The following year, he was second in the nation at the same weight for the Lights.