ThunderWolves go 2-1 against nationally-ranked opponents at Midwest Duals

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KEARNEY, Neb. The No. T-7 Colorado State University-Pueblo wrestling team went 2-1 against three nationally-ranked foes at the Midwest Duals Saturday, hosted by University of Nebraska-Kearney.

The ThunderWolves moved to 9-2 overall in dual competition and are now 4-2 against top 25 opponents this season. The day started against No. 6 Lindenwood University, who touts six ranked in the top 10 nationally. The Pack lost 23-18 to the Lions, but rebounded and defeated No. 23 Newman University 24-16 and No. T-12 Fort Hays State University by the score of 19-15.

Six wrestlers posted two wins on the day to lead the Pack. At 141, PT Garcia (R-Sr., Denver, Colo.) went 2-1 and led the team with 12 points, as his two wins came by fall. He leads the team this season with eight pins, as his fall came at 2:40 against Lindenwood and then he followed that with a pin in just 59 seconds versus Newman.

No. 7 Haszell West (R-Jr., Portland, Ore.) went 2-0, as he posted a 3-2 decision in the loss to the Lions and produced a fall in 47 seconds versus FHSU to total nine team points. Preston Lauterbach (R-Sr., Bellevue, Neb.) also had nine team points and went 2-0 at 174, as he scored a fall against Lindenwood in just 26 seconds and posted a 10-8 decision versus Newman. He owns five pins this season.

Sophomore Gavin Melendez (Los Banos, Calif.) gathered seven team points at 165 with a 14-4 major versus FHSU and 7-4 decision versus Newman.

Both lightweights at 125 and 133 recorded two decision victories. At 125, Josiah Seaton (R-Sr., Bonner Springs, Kan.) posted a 4-1 win against the Jets and a 7-3 decision versus the Tigers. No. 2 D'Andre Brumfield (R-Jr., Dallas, Texas) went 2-1 with a 13-8 decision against NU and a 5-3 decision versus FHSU.

Jasiah Williams (R-So., Portland, Ore.) earned the only upset win of the day, as he posted a 5-3 decision victory against the No. 4 wrestler in NCAA Divsion II at 149 with his win against Lindenwood.

Finally, No. 4 heavyweight Gavin Nye (R-Fr., Gerber, Calif.) went 1-1 with a 4-2 decision victory versus the Tigers.

In the loss to Lindenwood, the Pack were ahead 9-7 after four bouts thanks to the Garcia and Williams wins. LU won the next two bouts and were leading 14-9 before Lauterbach quickly pinned his opponent to give CSU-Pueblo the 15-14 lead. A Lion pin at 184 put them back up, then West scored a decision victory and it came down the heavyweights with the score 20-18 in favor of Lindenwood. Nye put up a fight against the No. 12 wrestler in Division II, but would fall 7-3.

The Pack jumped out to a 12-0 lead through three bouts against Newman and never trailed. They were leading 18-7 after seven matches thanks to five wins. The ThunderWolves lost two of the final three bouts, while the other was forfeited by Newman, leading to the final score of 24-16.

The match with the Tigers was a back-and-forth affair, as two decision wins by Seaton and Brumfield got the Pack ahead 6-0, but Fort Hays State responded with three straight decisions to lead 9-6 through five. One of those losses was Garcia's lone blemish on the day, as he fell by a 1-0 decision to the No. 2 wrestler nationally. Melendez scored big with his major decision, but FHSU took the next two bouts by decision and led 15-10 heading to the final two matches. Luckily for the ThunderWolves, two ranked wrestlers were left to battle, as West gave CSU-Pueblo the lead with his pin in the first minute, while Nye secured the victory for the Pack with his decision win.

Next up for the ThunderWolves is a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference road dual at Adams State University Jan. 24 and then a home conference bout with Colorado School of Mines. Both contests begin at 6 p.m.