Gappmaier’s pin sparks Mesa State win over Mines

Mesa State’s Jon Gappmaier puts Colorado School of Mines’ Jamie Sheets on his back Sunday afternoon during Gappmaier’s victory in the 157-pound bout at Brownson Arena. The Mavericks won the dual 28-7.

Falling behind in a wrestling match usually spells trouble.

Mesa State’s Jon Gappmaier found himself in trouble in the Mavericks’ first home dual of the season Sunday against the Colorado School of Mines.

The 157-pound sophomore, though, rallied and eventually pinned Jamie Sheets in 6:32 to lead the Mavericks to a 28-7 RMAC victory at Brownson Arena.

“To come back is hard,” Gappmaier (11-10) said. “He rode me the whole (first period) too. I knew I couldn’t give up another takedown. Chasing down 4-0 is a lot harder than 2-0. The takedown at the end of the second period was the biggest thing, keeping it close.”

Gappmaier’s win gave the Mavericks a 13-7 lead and started a streak of six consecutive wins to close out the dual.

“That was huge for Jon to get the pin there,” Mesa State coach Chuck Pipher said. “It was big for our team. It was a good dual for us with three starters out.”

Mesa (6-5, 3-2 RMAC) has wrestled several weeks without Rhett Breed and Trevor Donarski, but Pipher rested 133-pounder Tyler Nelson against Mines as well.

“Tyler needed a break,” Pipher said. “He’s healthy and everything, he just needed a breather, a mental and physical break. I thought it was best for the long term.”

Daniel Romero wrestled up a weight class in Nelson’s place and lost a 7-0 decision. The Orediggers (2-1, 2-1 RMAC) won a major decision at 149 pounds as well.

Breed and Donarski are expected to return next week for the Mavericks next home dual, Feb. 3, against No. 9 Western State. The Mavericks wrestle Thursday at Chadron State and Saturday at the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Open in Golden.

Chester Granard, also known as Dylan, kept the momentum on the Mavericks’ side with a 7-5 victory over returning national qualifier Jordan Larsen at 165 pounds.

“(Jon) got some momentum going,” Granard said. “Winning a dual is important so I knew I had to keep it going. That was a big win for me. I have a tough weight class in my region.”

Granard (24-9) scored first, but Larsen reversed him to tie the match in the first period. Granard escaped and took Larsen down before the end of the period for a 5-2 lead. Granard scored two more escape points to hold on for the victory. Mesa led 16-7.

“Larsen has been one of their most successful wrestlers the last couple years,” Pipher said. “That was a big win for Dylan. He’s wrestling well. He went 3-0 last week.”

“He’s picking it up. Wrestling is up and down. The name of the game is get everyone up at the end.”

Zak Slotten’s one takedown, escape and riding time point was enough for a 4-2 decision at 174 pounds. Kyle Brightman took Bradley Price down four times for a 9-4 win at 184 then Shane Miller had a 6-1 win at 197 and Trevor Stapp defeated Grand Junction High School graduate Robert Tucker 4-0 in the heavyweight match.

“We finished matches tonight,” Pipher said. “We finished (matches) in the third (period). That’s what’s awesome for us.”

Clay Flot (125) and Bery Tack (141) also won for the Mavericks.


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