West's Ashworth makes All-American at national wrestling tournament


COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — The only thing that stopped Minnesota West Community and Technical College wrestler Damon Ashworth at the national NJCAA tournament over the weekend was an injury.
Even so, the Bluejay placed sixth at 165 pounds, earning All-American status.
Ashworth won his first three matches in Council Bluffs by fall, fall and 10-0 decision. In the semifinals he rolled his ankle and could not finish.

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"He was wrestling really good," said his coach, Randy Baker. "He pinned his first opponent in the second period. He got a takedown and took his next guy down and pinned him in the first period. Then he wrestled a kid from Western Wyoming and he won that match 10-0. He rolled his ankle early in the next match with a kid out of Idaho."
Baker said Ashworth competed for another 30 seconds. But he was unable to push off on his ankle and had to retire.
He finished the season 22-8, not including the default.
Two other Minnesota West wrestlers also competed at the national tournament. Kyler Grems, who went in with a 3-11 record, won one of three matches at 149 pounds. Jacob Vogel went 0-2 at 141 pounds.
Baker said he was proud of all three of his wrestlers. He was also happy that Minnesota West finished ahead of every other MCAC team in the tournament except for Rochester.

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