RELEASE COURTESY OF THE RMAC
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The 2016 RMAC Wrestling Championships will be held at the U.S. Olympic Complex in Colorado Springs on Sunday, January 31. The RMAC is partnering with USA Wrestling, the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation and the U.S. Olympic Complex for these championships.
"The opportunity we can afford our student-athletes through a partnership with USA Wrestling is one-of-a-kind. The return of the RMAC Wrestling Championship Tournament will greatly benefit our programs, wrestling in the Rocky Mountain region and the city of Colorado Springs. This is a very special opportunity," said RMAC Commissioner Chris Graham.
"USA Wrestling is excited to partner with the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference to host this historic event. We are confident that the United States Olympic Training Center and our beautiful city of Colorado Springs will provide an inspiring backdrop for these Championships. We are eager to continue to help wrestling grow within this great conference and the region," said Rich Bender, Executive Director of USA Wrestling.
"We are thrilled to be part of the RMAC Wrestling Championship and we are hopeful to make this an annual event in Colorado Springs," said Tom Osborne, President & CEO of the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation.
This will be the first RMAC-only Wrestling Championship since 1996 and the first ever collegiate wrestling tournament held at the U.S. Olympic Complex. Between 1997 and 2014, the RMAC wrestling championship was combined with the NCAA Division II regional tournament.
In 2015, the RMAC Dual Meet champion was recognized as the conference champion.
Adams State, Chadron State, Colorado Mesa, Colorado Mines, CSU-Pueblo, New Mexico Highlands and Western State Colorado compete in RMAC wrestling along with associate members California Baptist and San Francisco State.
Founded in 1909, the RMAC is the most historic collegiate organization in the western United States. The sport of wrestling started in the RMAC in 1922, with the first title being won by the University of Colorado.
Considered as one of the best wrestling conferences in NCAA Division II, the RMAC has had 13 national team champions since 1963.
RMAC Wrestling National Team Champions
NCAA Division II
1963 – Western State
1964 – Western State
1968 - Adams State
1969 - Adams State
1970 - Nebraska-Omaha
1972 - Adams State
1973 - Adams State
1975 - Adams State
1976 - Adams State
1980 - Adams State
1990 - Adams State
NCAA Division II
2008 – Nebraska-Kearney
2011 – Nebraska-Kearney
Some notable RMAC wrestling champions are former UFC interim heavyweight champion Shane Carwin (Western State) and Olympic Wrestler Tervel Dlagnev (Nebraska-Kearney) who placed fifth in the Heavyweight Division in 2012 in London. This year Dlagnev won the won the U.S. World Team Trials and is the U.S. Open champion at 125 kg. Former RMAC wrestling champion Glen Frank (Colorado Mines) will be inducted into the RMAC Hall of Fame on Friday, July 24 at the Colorado Springs Marriott Hotel.