By George Limbert
Andrew Simmons and Dalton Tipton led the Missouri Valley Men’s Wrestling team at the annual Viking Invitational, as they met in an all Valley final in 164 lb weight class, to be named co-champions, January 21st.
A total of 33 teams traveled to the Burns Athletic Complex to compete at the event, the Vikings had five athletes place at the event and managed to place fourth as a team.
Simmons received a first round bye, before winning in the second round via a first round pin. The sixth ranked Simmons then beat the no.14 and ninth ranked wrestlers respectively to reach the semi-final, where he won convincingly in a 21-5 technical fall.
“It is a really tough tournament at all weight classes,” Simmons said. “Me and my teammate Dalton battled through a very tough field on opposite side of the brackets. We were fortunate enough to both be on our game that day and make the finals.”
Tipton, ranked one place behind Simmons at no. 7 also had an impressive path to the final. Also receiving a first round bye, he won the second round with an 18-2 technical fall, and then squeezed through the third round with a 1-0 decision, before getting to the final with back to back second-period pins.
The two teammates decided that in attempt to avoid injury, they would call the match a tie and accept the title of Co-Champion.
“When we both won our semi-finals match and advanced to the championships coaches and us both came to an agreement that risking injury was not worth it since we both are really aggressive wrestlers.” Simmons said. “We decided to forego the final match and call each other co-champions of the tournament.”
Also placing at the Viking Invitational was Justin Smith, Chase Krutsky and Tobias Barnes.