Vikes send Morphew, Dictus to NCAAs

Andy York

In the WIAC conference championships this past weekend, both Nick Morphew and Ben Dictus took home second place finishes and gathered two of six wildcard spots to advance to the NCAA Championship wrestling meet. These two will be the first Vikings sent to the NCAAs since Andy Kazik won the NCAA Title with an undefeated record in 2002 at 184 pounds. The Viking Team took home a disappointing seventh place finish.Morphew was seeded second at 133 pounds coming into the championships. He got a bye in his first round match, and advanced to the second round to face third seeded Nick Mueller of UW-La Crosse. Morphew won that match 5-3 to advance to the championship match against his WIAC nemesis, first seeded Brady Holtz of UW-Stevens Point. Holtz is 5th in the country and Morphew was 6th in the country at 133 pounds. Holtz, who had defeated Morphew 9-0 in their first meeting this season, went on to get the 7-2 victory this time, and Morphew took second.

Dictus had a tough time as well in his bracket. His first match was against Jed Lechleitner of UW-Oshkosh. Dictus pinned him in a minute and 30 seconds easily advancing to the second round. In the second round he faced sixth seeded Joel Compton of UW-Platteville, and Dictus handily beat him 6-3. The championship match had Dictus facing Jason Luloft, who came in with a record of 31-2 and was ranked second in the nation at 184 pounds. Luloft from UW-Lacrosse defeated Dictus 8-0 in their first meeting earlier in the season, and cruised to an easy 11-2 victory over Dictus here. Dictus then wrestled in a true second place match against Troy Seubert of UW-Eau Claire, and Dictus easily beat him 7-2 to take home second place and get one of the 6 at-large berths to the 2004 NCAA Wrestling Championships.

The NCAA Championships are March 5-6 at Loras College in Dubuque, IA. This is the first NCAA berth for either wrestler.