Mavs showcase depth with perfect day at Midwest Duals

The Colorado Mesa University wrestling team proved it is worthy of its most recent ranking.

In the process, the No. 10-ranked Mavericks showed they deserved a shot at defending NCAA Division II national champion Nebraska-Kearney.

Colorado Mesa (15-1) was the only other team aside from the No. 13 Lopers to go 4-0 on Saturday in the Midwest Duals hosted by Nebraska-Kearney.

“We’ve got enough depth that we can win when a couple guys are not having a good day,” CMU coach Chuck Pipher said. “We got Zak Slotten worked in the lineup and wrestling well. Jonathon Stelling is on a seven-win streak. James Martinez is on a win streak, and Slotten has won five in a row.”

Stelling (125 pounds), Martinez (149), Slotten (174) and Nick Petersen (184) each went 4-0 on Saturday. Martinez (11-1) and Petersen (19-4) had two pins each.

No. 2-ranked Jon Gappmaier (9-2) lost for the first time this season. He was 2-2 at 157 pounds, and No. 8 Chester Granard was 1-3 at 165.

“They had a bad day,” Pipher said. “It’s hard to stay on a high. They’ve got to be mentally tough and pick themselves back up now.”

The Mavericks rallied to defeat San Francisco State (Calif.) University 21-18 in their final dual of the day. It was Mesa’s first victory over the Gators since Mesa’s program was reinstated seven years ago.

Each team won five matches, but Mesa had two pins to the Gators’ one forfeit victory at 141 pounds, where Pipher held out Drew Schumann.

The Mavericks, who trailed 15-6 after six matches, rallied with pins from Slotten and Petersen.

“We were down to San Fran good,” Pipher said. “Drew had a tough day. He was hit in the head and was sick all week.”

The Mavericks began the day with a 21-15 victory over No. 15 Fort Hays State (Kan.) University. Mesa won seven matches in the dual. Schumann kept his match close with No. 4 C.J. Napier in Napier’s 3-1 victory at 141 pounds.

Mesa rolled to a 44-3 victory over Newman (Kan.) University, winning all but one match. Schumann, Martinez, Jordan Passehl (197) and Paco Retana (285) had pins. Granard won by technical fall.

The Mavericks won six matches to defeat Colby (Kan.) Community College 30-11. Martinez and Petersen had pins. Slotten (174) won by technical fall, and Retana won a major decision.

Neb.-Kearney defeated Labette (Kan.) Community College 28-13, No. 17 Adams State University 36-10, CSU-Pueblo 39-3 and Northern State (S.D.) University 37-8.


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