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Sikora Heads To Nationals
Posted: Wednesday, March 2, 2005
EAU CLAIRE - Derek Sikora (Jr. -Neillsville) looks to improve on last year's third place finish when he competes in the NCAA Division III National Championships Friday and Saturday on the St. Olaf campus.
Sikora lost his opening round match at 165 pounds last year but came back to win his next six matches to take third. Sikora defeated the second- and fourth-seeded wrestlers en route to the highest Blugold finish at nationals since Bob Wozniak finished second at 190 pounds in 1990.
The eight-ranked Sikora comes into the weekend with a 26-4 record with three of his four losses coming against ranked opponents. Sikora lost twice to UW-La Crosse's second-ranked Nick Ammerman and once to seventh-ranked Brian Daly of Augustana College. Sikora kept all three losses close dropping 5-2 and 5-4 decisions to Ammerman and a 4-2 decision to Daly.
The top eight wrestlers at 165 pounds will all be competing this year. Luther's Garrett South is at the top followed by Ammerman, Augsburg's Ryan Valek and Elmhurst's Tyler Ludwig. Ithaca's Marc Isreal is fifth followed by Lycoming's Grant Brindle, Daly and Sikora.
Sikora has faced off against six of this year's 18 competitors at 165 pounds over the course of his career. Sikora is 0-1 against South, 0-2 against Ammerman, 1-1 against Valek, 1-2 against Daly, 1-1 against Loras' Brad Bishop and 0-3 against Wartburg's Andrew Knaack.
Sikora battled two of this year's competitors last year winning both matches. Sikora took out Daly 6-1 in the consolation second round and defeated Valek 12-6 in the consolation quarterfinals.
The action is scheduled to kick off Friday at 11 a.m. with the first two rounds of both the championship and consolation rounds.
- JL -