Falcons Take Second At Annual Colorado Collegiates
Almosa, Colo. - In a close finish, the Northern Colorado wrestling team edged out the defending champion Air Force wrestling team at the annual Colorado Collegiates, hosted by Adams State on Saturday. The Bears wrapped up the team title with a final score of 86.50, just four points ahead of second-place Air Force (82.50). Western State took third place with a score of 70.00. followed by Adams State (56.50) and Colorado School of Mines (11.50), while Central Oklahoma and New Mexico HIghlands also competed without being included in the official standings.
The Falcons finished with nine placewinners in the 10 weight classes, including 184-pound champion Zane Herhsey (Sr., Hugoton, Kan.). Hershey began the day by posting a 5-1 decision over Western State's Dillon Waggoner to advance to the title bout. There he recorded an 11-3 major decision over Northern Colorado's Kenny Meredith to earn Air Force's lone individual title of the day.
Runner-ups for AIr Force included senior Brandon Strong (Albuquerque, N.M.) at 133 pounds; Bridger Lord (Jr., Missoula, Mont.) at 149 pounds; Zach Lord (Jr., Missoula, Mont.) at 157 pounds; and senior Brenden McLean (Merlin, Ore.) at 197 pounds.
Strong got out to a qiuck start, pinning Northern Colorado's Adam Garcia in a mark of 0:40, before notching a fall against Central Oklahoma's Jared Manning in a time of 2:44. However, his luck would run out in the championship bout, as Stong could not escape with the 5-2 decision over Central Oklahoma's Earl James.
Bridger Lord began his run to second with a fall over Adams State's Dave Welanka in a time of 5:38, before picking up another win over a seeded opponent, this time a 4-1 decision over second-seeded Kyle LeValley of Northern Colorado. Unfortunately he was unable to get past the eventual champion, dropping an 8-2 decision to Shea Timothy.
Lord's twin, Zach, also fared well at 157 pounds, beginning his day with a 14-0 major decision against Tyson Muffly of Colorado School of Mines. After advancing with a 12-9 major decision over Northern Colorado's Nathan Gerrard, Lord shocked second-seeded Jason Leavitt of Cerntral Oklahoma with a 5-2 decision. That would his last big upset of the day, as he lost a 4-2 decision to champion Scott Cleve of Adams State in the finals.
Air Force's last runner-up, McLean, wrestled just twice on Saturday, advancing to the finals after defeating Western State's Cody Mumma in a 4-2 sudden victory decision. Unfortunately, he did not have enough for the final round, giving up a 13-0 major decision to Reece Hopkin in the championship bout.
Other Air Force placewinners included Jake Kriegbaum (So., Abilene, Kan.), who placed third at 141 pounds after recording two falls, a tech fall and a forfeit on Saturday; junior Matt Crippes (Jr., Cloverdale, Calif.), who came in third at 149 pounds with three pins en route to the most falls award; sophomore Greg Ford (Kansas City, Mo.), who finished with a fall and decision at 165 to finish fourth; and sophomore Jake Devlin (Livingston, N.J.), who took fourth at 184 pounds after winning a pair of falls.
The Falcons return to action next week for a pair of dual meets, as they travel to North Dakota State on Jan. 27, followed with a meeting at South Dakota State on Jan .28. Both meets are scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. (CT).