Former Manhattan High wrestler Jeff Vesta concluded his junior college career on top.
Vesta, who wrestles for Neosho County Community College, participated in the NJCAA National Championships at 125-pounds recently in Rochester, Minn.
Vesta entered the tournament ranked No. 2 in his weight class and went a perfect 5-0 over the two-day event.
In the first round, Vesta scored a quick 52-second pin against Andres Torress of Northern Iowa Area CC., and Round 2 ended with Jeff pinning Prentice Thomas of Lincoln, Ill., in a time of 4:58.
In the quarterfinals, Jeff posted a 11-8 decision over Joaquin Calderon of North Idaho CC to advance into the semifinals and face Jacob Colon of Iowa Central CC, where Vesta recorded a pin in 5:26.
The finals had Vesta facing off against No. 1-ranked Steven Romero of Highline CC. Vesta wrestled Romero twice last year at nationals with Romero winning two close matches, including the consolation finals where Vesta took fourth.
Once again, the match was a close one with both wrestlers not scoring a point in the first period. The second period started with Romero taking the down position and scoring a two-point reversal late in the period, but Jeff was able to score a one-point escape just before the whistle.
In the third period, with Vesta down 2-1, he chose the down position. Midway through the third, Jeff was able to score a two-point reversal and not let Romero score again, allowing Vesta to take the match 3-2 and win the national title.