HELENA -- MSU-Northern wrestler Nick Kunz captured the NAIA National championship on Saturday in Park City, Kansas. Kunz, Capital High's all-time wins leader, won the 125-pound title with a 4-1 decision over Justin Portillo of Grand View University, Iowa, in the finals.
Having beaten the tournament's No. 1 seed, he became the first former local AA grappler to win a collegiate national title. Kunz placed third at the Cascade Conference regional tourney, and entered his third NAIA championships as the No. 10 seed. The Lights' junior went 4-0 in the national tournament and wound up with an overall season mark of 25-11.
At Capital from 2013-17, Kunz was a three-time all-stater, and set the school wins record with a career mark of 122-34. He is the fourth local matman to achieve NAIA All-American status, joining HHS' Albert Olsen of Ricks College (second, 1991), CHS' Deac Hall of Southern Oregon (seventh, 1993) and Kyle Nay of Dickinson State (sixth, 2004).