The wrestling team successfully defended its NAIA National Champioship.

National Champs to Be Honored on Campus on March 21

WHAT: A special recognition ceremony to commemorate the Falcon wrestling team’s second consecutive NAIA National Championship

WHEN: Monday, March 21, at 4:30 p.m.

WHERE: Murphy Gymnasium, in the Keller Center on the Notre Dame College campus, 4545 College Road, South Euclid, Ohio


Wrestling team wins second consecutive national championship

Notre Dame College successfully defended its 2010 crown with another decisive victory at the NAIA National Championships on March 5. Two Notre Dame wrestlers -- Dante Rini (125 pounds) and Orlando Scales (Hwt.) -- earned individual titles, and three more NDC athletes placed second. Overall, nine Notre Dame wrestlers earned NAIA All-America status with top-8 finishes at the tournament. Notre Dame’s wrestlers decisively outpaced second-place Lindenwood-Mo. as well as the rest of the 39-team field in Cedar Rapids.

The victory proved to be the confirmation of a champion -- coming off their 2010 national title, Notre Dame was ranked No. 1 in the NAIA Coaches' Preseason Poll in October. The Falcons retained that lofty perch through every week of the season and came into tournament week as the top team in the nation. NDC has been ranked No. 1 by the NAIA coaches in every poll since Nov. 24, 2009.

In addition to repeating as national champs, Notre Dame has now also pulled off a “four-peat” of sorts -- NDC also won the last two NAIA National Duals titles. The Wrestling Falcons are the first NAIA team to claim victories in both the National Championships and the National Duals in consecutive years. The NAIA has been part of the National Duals since 2006.

The Falcons also accomplished something not seen before in the annals of Ohio collegiate wrestling -- winning a second national title. For Frank Romano and his charges, as well as Falcon and wrestling fans in Northeast Ohio, the best part of winning that second title is that the wait was a short one.

“I'm so proud of our guys, the coaches, everyone associated with this program,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Frank Romano, the former team captain for Ohio State (1969-70) who has now led Notre Dame to a feat never before accomplished by an Ohio wrestling program -- winning multiple national titles. “This is a talented group, but that only gets you so far. What put them over the top is the way they trained for this.”

“Winning two in a row is unbelievable,” said Romano. “It's an amazing feeling of accomplishment and gratitude.”

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information contact Brian Johnston, chief communications officer, at 216.373.5252 or bjohnston@ndc.edu.