On Saturday, March 10, Morgan Smith and Ciaran Ball travelled to Cedar Springs, Iowa to represent SFU at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) II Championships for wrestling. Undoubtedly the story from the event was Smith becoming the first two-time All-American in SFU wrestling history.
Smith did not get off to the start he was perhaps hoping for, however, as he lost his second match of the tournament to number one seed Evan Ramos from Shippensburg University. The match could not have been closer, but unfortunately for Smith, he lost on a 6–5 decision. This was a minor blip in an otherwise stellar tournament for Smith, and he would avenge the loss later on.
In the consolation final (for third place), Smith and Ramos would face off against each other once again. This time, Smith (the tournament’s number five seed) would come out on top, and win third place as a result. It was a dominating performance, as he won 4–2. The two athletes have a history of facing off against each other, as Smith defeated Ramos in last year’s National Championship as well.
This caps off a terrific season for Smith, in which he went 41–8. With the third place finish, he is now SFU’s first two time All-American in wrestling.
Ball was on his first trip to the National Championships in this one, and will improve based on the experience he gained in this year’s tournament. He lost his first two matches of the tournament, and was eliminated. He had a terrific season, evidenced by his trip to Iowa, as he finished with a dominant 35–11 record. He will have more to prove next season as he enters his senior campaign.
Between Smith and Ball, SFU’s team finished 16th in scoring at the Championships.
This caps off an exciting career for Smith, who entered the season as a senior. Over the past three seasons, he has a dominant record of 108–18. In the NCAA era, he is arguably the greatest men’s wrestler that SFU has produced.