Western State wins top-20 battle
WSC receives wins from all four nationally ranked wrestlers
Adams State Athletics
ALAMOSA, Colo.— Ninth-ranked Western State won nine matches, including two by fall and one by forfeit, as it posted a 38-4 win against No. 18 Adams State in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference wrestling action Thursday night in Plachy Hall.
The Mountaineers have now won six consecutive duals, improving to 8-4 overall and to a perfect 4-0 in league dual-meet action. They will battle Grand Canyon (Ariz.), an associate RMAC member, for first place in the RMAC dual meet standings on Friday in Gunnison. The 13th-ranked ‘Lopes bested Colorado State-Pueblo 24-13 on Thursday and are now 12-4 overall and 5-0 in RMAC action.
The Grizzlies fell to 4-4 overall and 2-2 in RMAC action although Grizzly 141-pound junior Kenny Jordan extended his winning streak to eight matches with a 13-3 major decision win against Cody Cole. Jordan, ranked seventh in the country, has now scored four major decisions in his last five matches and has a fall in that stretch that has seen him raise his overall record to 15-2. Jordan, who is also a perfect 8-0 in duals, scored five takedowns in his victory against Cole, controlling the bout from wire-to-wire.
That was about the only highlight of the night for the Grizzlies as the Mountaineers controlled the rest of the night. WSC claimed victories in each of the other eight matches, including a third-period fall by Jesse Cruz at 133 pounds and a stunning neutral-position fall by Zach Frazier at 165 pounds.
The Mountaineers also received victories from each of their four nationally-ranked men, including 197-pounder Donovan McMahill, who claimed a 12-5 win against Grizzly junior Luke McPeek, who entered ranked fourth in the country. McMahill, the defending national champion and top-ranked man in the weight class, is now a perfect 20-0 this season and has won 37 consecutive matches. Meanwhile, McPeek saw his seven-match winning streak snapped while falling to 16-5 overall with three of those losses coming against McMahill.
Earlier in the evening, seventh-ranked Kyle O’Brien claimed 5-0 decision against Grizzly true freshman Jerry Huff at 125 pounds before Cruz scored his fall with just 56 seconds left against Corey Johnson. Cruz was leading 5-0 at the time.
Jordan then scored the Grizzlies’ only points as ASC pulled to within 9-4 overall before Justin Keys received the forfeit without returning All-American and sixth-rated Josh Hensley for the fourth consecutive night due to a knee injury.
Leading 15-4, the Mountaineers then claimed a thrilling 6-4 win at 157 pounds as Kurtis Ramsay broke a 2-2 deadlock with an early third-period reversal of Grizzly redshirt freshman Justin Samora, who slipped to 10-9 overall and to 5-3 in dual meet action.
Grizzly redshirt freshman Darian Roberts then took an early 4-1 lead against Frazier at 165 pounds before the rarely seen neutral-position pin-fall put the Mountaineers on top 24-4.
Jorge Benitez continued Western State’s momentum with a 12-5 decision against Mark Mabry Jr. at 174 pounds while second-ranked 184-pounder Charlie Pipher, wrestling for the first time in more than a month, claimed an 18-3 technical fall win against Grizzly sophomore Dominic DeMarco.
After McMahill’s win that made the score 35-4, the Mountaineers then finished the night with a 3-2 decision by third-ranked Charlie Alexander against Grizzly sophomore Taylor Stam in the heavyweight match. Stam, now 11-11, had a 1-0 lead after two periods of the defensive battle thanks to an early second-frame escape. Alexander, now 8-1 on the year, then tied the match early in the third before the bout’s lone takedown, which came near the mid-point of the third period and proved decisive.