Courtesy of Grand Canyon University Athletics

Tim Koors/GCU
GCU's All-American Victor Carazo

The 11th-ranked Grand Canyon University wrestling team had an impressive start to 2011, going 3-1 at the Grand Canyon Duals on the GCU campus today.

All-American Victor Carazo, national qualifier Todd Wilcox and newcomer Eli Arizmendez went 4-0 on the day. All-American Ryan Becerra and Mike Fucci posted 3-1 records.

The ‘Lopes opened the day with a 28-9 victory over Kutztown. Wilcox, ranked second in Division II, won a hard fought 5-4 decision over fifth-ranked Austin Williams at 133 pounds. Sixth-ranked Carazo used a late takedown to defeat third-ranked Tim Darling at 174 pounds. GCU won 7 of the 10 matches.

GCU led throughout in its next match against Chadron State, winning 29-12. Seventh-ranked Ryan Becerra pinned Chadron State’s Jordan Debus at 5:30 in the 184 pound tilt.

The Antelopes dropped a 24-12 decision to fifth-ranked Newberry in their third match. Wilcox once again faced a ranked opponent, this time holding off sixth-ranked BJ Young, 4-3. Becerra stretched Bryant Blanton, the nation’s top-ranked wrestler at 184, to the limit, before falling 4-1.

GCU rebounded from the loss against Newberry, closing out the day by taking down eighth-ranked Nebraska-Kearney, 27-20, in front of an enthusiastic Antelope Gymnasium. UNK held a slight 14-12 advantage after the first six matches. The momentum quickly swung in favor of the host ‘Lopes as Carazo dominated and pinned Drew Comito at 4:15. Becerra followed with a nail-biting 3-2 win to give GCU a 21-14 match lead. Arizmendez, making his first appearance with the ‘Lopes after transferring from Embry-Riddle, put the contest away by pinning UNK’s Mike Swanson at 197 pounds.

Second-ranked St. Cloud State finished a perfect 4-0, while Newberry posted a 3-1 mark. Nebraska-Kearney split their four matches, with Mesa State (1-2), Kutztown (1-4) and Chadron State (0-4) rounding out the field.