Linton competes at NAIA finals

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Doane College of Nebraska sent two wrestlers to the NAIA National Championships last weekend and after the first day of competition, the Tigers have one wrestler in contention for a national title.

Zach Linton (So./Winters, Calif./Wilson Central H.S., Tenn.) went 3-0 on the day to advance to the semifinals of the 184-pound bracket. He opened the championship meet with a pin over NAIA No. 9, Tyler Webley of Providence (Mont.). In the second round, he defeated Steeler French (Montana State-Northern) by 5-2. Linton capped the day with a win over the 5-seed, Artie Bess of Grand View (Iowa), by a 17-7 major decision.

Linton returned to the mat on Saturday to take on Cameron Jones of Cumberlands (Ky.). Jones is the top seed in the class and holds a 13-0 record. Linton improved to 32-2 on the season after the day’s action. He set the school record for wins in a season and has guaranteed a spot on the All-American podium.

Linton needed only 22 seconds to pin Jones of and advance to the championship match at 184-pounds this evening in Des Moines, Iowa.

Linton recorded the early takedown and followed with a quick pin. He was set to face Charles Sharon of Campbellsville (Ky.) in the finals. The finals were televised on ESPN3. Linton looked to join his brother, Cody, as a national champion. Cody won the 197-pound weight class in 2016.

Linton took runner-up honors at the NAIA Championships. He finished with a 33-3 record.

Linton lost in the championship to Charles Sharon of Campbellsville (Ky.), by decision, 10-3.

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