Sparks Named CCC Wrestler of the Year

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Eastern Oregon is proud to announce that Hunter Sparks has been honored as the 2023-24 Cascade Collegiate Conference Rize Laboratory Men’s Wrestler of the Year.

Sparks, a senior from Roseburg, Oregon, wrapped up his final season of collegiate with an impressive 21-1 record, securing his position at the top of the rankings for the majority of the season. His victories included nine decisions, six pins, five major decisions, and a technical fall.

In the highly competitive CCC tournament, Sparks faced off against No. 14-ranked Nicolas Aguilar of Menlo College in the championship bout, commanding a 7-2 decision victory. The win marked Sparks’ second consecutive CCC title and secured his automatic berth to the NAIA Championship.

At the NAIA Championship, Sparks avenged last seasons loss with a last second victory over the reigning national champion in a dramatic triple overtime semifinals match. The senior faced off against Menlo’s Aguilar once again in the national championship bout. Despite an early setback, Sparks staged a remarkable comeback, clinching the national title with a hard-fought 6-5 decision.

Sparks’ triumph at the NAIA Championship not only secured Eastern Oregon University’s first national wrestling title in 55 years but also etched his name in EOU history as just the third wrestler to achieve this feat. His accomplishments extend beyond the wrestling mat, as Sparks has been recognized for his academic excellence, earning distinctions such as the CCC All-Academic Conference and NAIA Daktronics Scholar-Athlete.

Hunter Sparks’ journey highlights the values of Eastern Oregon Athletics, leaving behind a legacy of excellence that will be remembered for years to come.

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