McKendree junior Brenden Murphy and sophomore Julian Smith both won individual National Championships, while four others earned All-America honors at the National Collegiate Wrestling Association national championship on Saturday in Allen, Texas.
The Bearcats finished second as team scoring 137 team points, only 8 1/2 fewer than champion California Baptist University. The runner-up finish is the highest since McKendree finished second at the NAIA national championship in 2008 season.
The individual championships are the eighth and ninth in program history at McKendree.
Murphy defended his 133-pound NCWA title and earned his third All-America honor with an 8-5 decision vof Chris Caton of United States Air Force Academy Prep. Murphy had three pins and a technical fall on his way to the championship. He ended his season with a record of 37-6.
Smith earned his first collegiate All-America honor with a championship at 197. Smith edged Aaron Thompson of Liberty by a 3-2 decision in the championship match. Smith ended his season 31-6.
Sophomore heavyweight Ross Janney earned his second NCWA honor with a runner-up finish at heavyweight. Janney, a fifth-place finisher last season, dropped a 3-0 decision to Zach Merrill of California Baptist in his title match. He ended his season 34-11.
Junior Isaiah Gonzalez finished in third at 174 to earn his first All-American honor. Gonzalez, a two-time NAIA national qualifier, pinned Keyshaun Ward of Liberty University in 1:32 to earn his third place finish. He wrapped up his season at 23-10.
Sophomore Luis Alba was pinned by Royal Bettrager in the third-place match at 184. Alba, a fifth-place finisher last season at 174, earned his second NCWA All-American honor and ended his season 27-14.
Sophomore Nick Haferkamp earned his second collegiate All-American honor with a fifth-place finish at 165. Haferkamp defeated Sergio Ardilla of University of Georgia by major decision, 13-4, to earn his spot on the medal stand. He ended his season at 35-14.