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Michael reserves All-America perch on Day 1 of nationals

DES MOINES, Iowa — Junior 149-pounder Chandler Michael will carry the torch for Southern Oregon University into the placing rounds of the NAIA Wrestling Championships after staying alive in the consolation brackets Friday at the Jacobson Exhibition Center.

Three Raiders were eliminated one win short of securing All-America status on Day 1 of the 61st annual tournament: Trey Long (125 pounds), Hunter Hodges (157) and Tanner Fischer (197). Michael, however, made it out with three straight consolation wins — including two by fall against higher-seeded opponents — and can finish anywhere from third to eighth place.

Wrestling starts up again today at 8 a.m. Pacific Time. Michael, seeded 11th, will face No. 5-seeded Richard Pocock of Hastings (Neb.), with the loser going to the seventh-place match.

SOU will enter the day 15th in the team standings with 24.5 points. Grand View (Iowa) is headed for its seventh consecutive title with 10 All-Americans and 98.5 points; second-place Cumberlands (Ky.) totaled 67.

In the tournament for the third year in a row, Michael was one win short of All-America recognition in 2017. His latest appearance started with a 5-0 win against Graceland's Brandon Seward, but he was shown to the consolation bracket by No. 6-seeded Steven Garcia of Morningside, 8-3. Michael then survived a 6-5 decision over Campbellsville's Michael Diemer before ending the night with back-to-back pins — in 1:18 against No. 4 Matt Landgraff of Oklahoma City, and in 3:40 over No. 8 Kyle Lee of Williams Baptist.

Michael, a third-place finisher at the Cascade Conference Championships, improved to 30-9.

His work gave the Raiders a dose of respite on an otherwise frustrating day, which included an early two-and-out for No. 4-seeded Devin Poppen at 141 pounds and the aforementioned knockouts of Fischer and Hodges, both returning All-Americans.


ASHLAND — Kalei Iwami and Ashley Niemand, formerly prep rivals in Southern California, have elected to join forces in 2018-19 with the Southern Oregon University women's basketball team.

Raiders head coach Alex Carlson announced the signings of Iwami, a 5-foot-7 point guard, and Niemand, a 6-2 center, to Cascade Conference letters of intent as the first pieces of his latest recruiting class.

Iwami is a product of Los Alamitos High, to which she helped deliver a Sunset League championships this season. In going 25-6 overall, Iwami averaged over 12 points per game. Her sister, Dani Iwami, is currently a sophomore guard at Western Washington University.

"We're really excited about what Kalei will bring to our program," Carlson said. "She'll fit in really well with our uptempo style both offensively and defensively, has a great work ethic and we really like how she competes. Kalei has the ability to contribute to our program right away and our entire coaching staff is excited about the opportunity to see her develop over the next four years."

Niemand's Edison High team in Huntington Beach, Calif., finished second to Los Alamitos in the Sunset League. Niemand was a regular double-double contributor for the Chargers, posting over 13 points and nine rebounds per game.

"Ashley will be a great addition and provide us with size and length that we haven't had in our program since I've been here," Carlson said. "We're excited about adding a shot-blocker inside who will give us a new dimension to our pressure defense, and Ashley also runs the floor very well and does a great job of finishing inside. Coach Meghan De Los Reyes did an outstanding job of recruiting her and we can't wait to get her on campus and get to work."


The 2018 Southern Oregon Football Alumni Club Golf Tournament, to be sponsored by Ashland Oak Tree Northwest Bar and Grill for the second year in a row, is set for May 5 at Eagle Point Golf Course.

Registration is now open, with all proceeds going to the SOU football program. Cost is $700 per team between now and April 22, and $800 per team for those who register after that date.

The scramble tournament will accommodate 36 teams of five. Scheduled for a day after the Raiders' annual Red & White Spring Game, it will get off to an 8 a.m. shotgun start.

SOU is also seeking sponsors for the event. For more information, click the links above or contact associate head coach Nathan Chin by email at chinn@sou.edu or by phone at 701-430-9568.