The 2016 National Wrestling Championships in Sioux Falls, S.D., did not start out as planned for Newman University junior Dustin Reed. But the Newman wrestler ended up accomplishing something no other Newman student-athlete has in the school’s NCAA Division II era – earning an individual All-America honor.
The 125-pound grappler from Colby, Kan., opened the two-day tournament March 11-12 by dropping a close 5-4 decision to Indianapolis’ Joshua Kieffer, the second ranked wrestler in the nation. Reed had beaten Kieffer in a tightly contested sudden victory match earlier in the season.
The loss meant Reed would drop into the consolation bracket where he bounced back winning four out of five matches and earning the All-American designation.
In his final match at the Denny Sanford Premier Center, Reed downed Western State's Ronald Wardleigh, an opponent who edged him at regionals, 7-4, to claim 5th place in the 125 pound national competition.
"Dustin Reed put together a great tournament, but it didn't just happen overnight," Newman Head Wrestling Coach Ryan Smith said. "His work ethic and motivation stemmed from his 0-2 performance just over a year ago at this same tournament. As coaches, we would have been surprised if he didn't make All-American. He had only one loss going into the post season...we honestly thought he could be in the finals, but this is going to be his motivation for his senior campaign in 2017."
Reed will again be a leader for the Jets next season but don't expect him or the team to rest. "We are extremely proud of Reed's All-American status, but we are going to celebrate it and forget it. Dustin was lonely at the national tournament. We are going to finish out recruiting our next class of Newman wrestlers and make sure he has a few teammates this next year at the NCAAs," Smith said.
"We have built a solid foundation and with a little bit of luck it is going to be a fun run in 2017," Smith added.
For more details about Reed’s national tournament trek go to the Newman University Athletic website.