Former Dawson County Tiger wrestler Thomas Kimbrell was named to one of 52 total at-large qualifiers for the 2009 NCAA Division-I Wrestling National Championships, announced Wednesday, March 11 by the NCAA.
The National Championship Tournament was held March 19-21 at the Scott Trade Center in St. Louis, Mo.
Kimbrell earned his bid by placing fifth in the 133 pounds weight class during the PAC-10 Championship. Kimbrell was in a weight class in which the top three finishers earned automatic bids.
Kimbrell’s Roadrunner career came to a close at the championship tournament with a 14-9 loss to Bucknell’s David Marble in the consolation wrestlebacks.
Kimbrell began the match with the upper hand, scoring the first takedown to take a 2-1 lead into the second period.
Marble tied the score with an escape, followed by another Kimbrell takedown and Marble escape. As the period wound down, Marble went ahead 5-4 on a takedown, but Kimbrell spun for a late reversal to hold a 6-5 lead through two periods.
The final period was all Marble, however, as the Bucknell junior scored on a trio of takedowns and a three-point nearfall to close out the match.
Kimbrell finished the 2009 season with a 26-14 record.
Kimbrell wrestled for the Dawson County High School Tigers, where he finished as the AA state champion at 119 pounds in 2004 and the runner-up at 112 in 2003. He helped lead Dawson County to the AA team championship in 2003 and 2004. He was the team MVP in 2003 and co-captain in 2003 and 2004.
The former Tiger won the starting spot at 133 pounds his junior season for Bakersfield. Some of his highlights include: going 5-1 to place third at the Fullerton Open and winning 10 consecutive matches mid-season.
Kimbrell earned PAC-10 All-Academic first team honors and was named to the NCAA D-I National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Academic Team.