Former Bear finishes as national runner-up in NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships

Posted 3/17/21

ST. LOUIS — A former Chatham Central Bear state champion showed out in St. Louis this past weekend.

Nick Daggett, a 2017 graduate of Chatham Central High School and senior wrestler at …

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Former Bear finishes as national runner-up in NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships

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Posted

ST. LOUIS — A former Chatham Central Bear state champion showed out in St. Louis this past weekend.

Nick Daggett, a 2017 graduate of Chatham Central High School and senior wrestler at UNC-Pembroke, finished as the national runner-up in the 125-pound class at the 2020-21 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships in St. Louis.

After winning the NCAA Super Regional II Tournament Championship at Emmanual College in Franklin Springs, Georgia, on March 3, Daggett qualified for the NCAA Championships, taking a 13-3 record into the tournament, where he won two matches on his run to a national title bout as a fifth seed.

He took down fourth-seeded Josh Portillo (Nebraska-Kearney) by major decision, 9-0, in the quarterfinals, then proceeded to earn a comeback win over 11th-seeded Christian Mejia (McKendree) by a 6-5 decision in the semifinals. Meija gained a 5-3 advantage after a reversal, but according to a release from UNC Pembroke’s Associate Athletic Director Todd Anderson, Daggett fired back as he “executed a reversal 13 seconds later and used a riding time point to advance to the national championship bout.”

In the title bout, Daggett fell victim to a monster eight-point third period by second-seeded Cole Laya (West Liberty) and lost by major decision, 12-2, ending his shot at a national championship.

As a team, UNC Pembroke finished in 19th place (17 points) at the Championships. Daggett became the fifth Brave to compete for a national title in the last nine seasons.

While Daggett won’t end his career with a Division II national championship in his trophy case, he’s crafted quite a resume during his time in Pembroke.

Daggett, a two-time All-American, has accrued a 100-31 (.763) overall record including tournament play, qualified for the NCAA Championships all four years including his second-place finish this year, won three NCAA Super Regional II Championships, among many other achievements.

All of his college accomplishments are on top of his stellar career at Chatham Central, where he was named a three-time 1A state wrestling champion for the Bears, racking up a 171-7 (.961) overall record, including two perfect seasons to close out high school (36-0 his senior year, 42-0 his junior year) and an NCHSA All-American nod as a senior.

Reporter Victor Hensley can be reached at vhensley@chathamnr.com or on Twitter at @Frezeal33.

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