Cedar Rapids, IA - Sophomore Branden Yeik (Bremerton, WA) held an early lead in his opening match at 157 pounds in the NCAA Championships this weekend but eventually dropped back-to-back matches to be eliminated from the tournament. Yeik finishes the year with an 18-11 record along with a third-place finish at the NCAA Eastern Regionals and a victory at this year's Long Island Invitational.
Yeik was pitted against the third-seed in his weight class, Cole Welter of Wartburg. However, it was Yeik who scored the opening takedown and held a 2-1 advantage after the first period. Welter was able to keep the USMMA grappler of the scoreboard the rest of the way and took a narrow 5-2 decision. In his consolation match, Yeik suffered a 5-3 setback at the hands of another All-American in Washington and Jefferson's Josh Etzel.