Four Warriors Qualify for NAIA National Championships

Mon, Feb 18, 2019

GREAT FALLS, Mont. – Life Pacific captured its first two individual Wrestling championships in program history at the Cascade Collegiate Conference Championships on February 16. Alexander Nunez (SO/Fontana, CA) won the 125-pound title and Gerardo Hernandez (FR/Mission Viejo, CA) won the championship for the 174-pound weight class. By winning their respective weight classes, Nunez and Hernandez have both qualified for the 62nd Annual NAIA Wrestling National Championship that will be held March 1st and 2nd in Des Moines, Iowa. Joining Nunez and Hernandez at the National Championship will be Anthony Vargas (133-pound FR/Moreno Valley, CA) and Aaron Mora (149-pound JR/Firebaugh, CA). As a team, the Warriors finished in 7th place out of the 9 teams that competed at the tournament. 

In addition to winning the 125-pound title in dominating fashion, Alexander Nunez was also named Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament. In arguably the biggest upset of the tournament, Nunez opened up the event with a victory over Mhar Caballa. Caballa came into the tournament as the No. 1-seed and he is also ranked No. 4 in the nation. Nunez defeated Caballa in the opening round by fall and he eventually went on to win the championship match with a 16-7 major decision victory over No. 10 Riley Siason of Menlo College.

Gerardo Hernandez won his 174-pound title by defeating Chase Short of MSU-Northern by a 16-9 decision in the championship bout.

Match Results

Head Coach Arsen Aleksanyan On The Tournament

  • It was an absolutely amazing tournament! The guys wrestled so well; they were smart and composed throughout the weekend. I’m so proud of them. Having four national qualifiers is fantastic, led by 2 champions and an outstanding wrestler of the tournament! I could not be prouder of this group. I especially want to thank Coach Brady for his intelligent coaching all weekend. This team would not be the same without him. Our athletic trainer Bryant Wang was a huge part of our success as well. He stayed busy during a hard 2-day tournament getting our guys ready after every match. He worked so hard this weekend. I’m really excited for Nationals.

Words From The Warriors

  • Gerardo Hernandez
    • I was super excited going into this tournament. Knowing I had to beat ranked wrestlers to secure a spot to nationals was something that kept me going. Overall, the experience was great. Being Life Pacific’s first Cascade Conference Champion along with Alexander Nunez was very pleasing. Now it’s just time to keep the ball rolling with my teammates. I am thankful to God and my team for the opportunity.
  • Alexander Nunez
    • Going into this tournament, I was super excited to turn some heads and bring a title back to Southern California. Having support from my teammates and coaching staff made the job easier. I can’t wait to make some more upsets at nationals.

Next Warrior Match

  • NAIA National Wrestling Championship
    • March 1st and 2nd
    • Jacobson Exhibition Center
      • Des Moines, Iowa