Mountaineers end CMU’s 13-match win streak
Mavericks remain tied for first place in the RMAC
Colorado Mesa University heavyweight wrestler Paco Retana was giving up close to 60 pounds to Western State Colorado University’s Kyle Graulus, but Retana knew he needed a pin to keep the No. 9 Mavericks’ win streak alive.
Instead, Graulus countered one of Retana’s final desperate attempts and scored a takedown for a 5-4 victory Saturday night in the Mountaineers’ 21-14 victory over Colorado Mesa at Brownson Arena. Western (9-5, 3-1 RMAC) snapped the Mavericks’ school-record 13-match win streak.
“I had to go big there,” said Retana, a sophomore. “I was looking out for the (individual) win, but I was waiting for a shot to get big points and get a win for the team. I had to sacrifice myself in there. It was worth it.”
“They’ve been wrestling well,” CMU coach Chuck Pipher said of the Mountaineers. “They wrestled each one of our guys smart. No excuses on our part. Some of the matches in the lower weights, they didn’t give up the falls where we get falls.”
Colorado Mesa (18-2, 4-1 RMAC) remains tied for first place in the RMAC with Adams State (6-3, 4-1 RMAC). The Mavericks wrestle at Adams State next Thursday.
One night after Western State upended No. 11 Grand Canyon (Ariz.) University in Gunnison, the Mountaineers proved they could do it again.
“We’re starting to grow up a little bit,” Western coach Miles Van Hee said. “Sometimes we wrestle young; sometimes we wrestle like we want.”
Eight of the Mountaineers’ wrestlers are sophomores or redshirt freshmen. Graulus is their only senior.
Western State sophomore Kyle Piatt, who was a state champion at Olathe High School, defeated Colorado Mesa All-American Nick Petersen 12-6 in the 184-pound match. It was the third time Piatt has beaten Petersen in four matches.
“It is weird with ours,” Piatt said. “Our first couple matches were low-scoring matches. Now that we’ve got to know each other, I think we both open up against each other a lot and test each other.”
His win was surrounded by No. 2-ranked Elliot Copeland’s 7-4 victory over Zak Slotten at 174, Sam Mangum’s 5-2 victory over Jordan Passehl at 197 and Graulus’ heavyweight win.
“Jordan couldn’t get his stuff going,” Pipher said. “We were out of position on our feet in a couple matches, Passehl and Petersen. Guys are getting those low singles (takedowns) on us all day long. They’ve got to stay in better position.”
The Mountaineers’ 141-pound redshirt freshman Corbin Bennetts, though, picked up the ever-important bonus points with a pin of Mesa sophomore Drew Schumann. That gave Western a 9-3 lead.
“That was a big match at 41s,” Pipher said. “I felt like we should’ve got a win there, but that’s the way it goes. You’ve got to wrestle seven minutes.”
Schumann scored an early takedown and led 3-2 when Bennetts put Schumann in a tilt for a pin in 4 minutes, 19 seconds.
“It’s hard to get out of that,” Pipher said. “A one-second pin isn’t very long. That kid’s got a good little tilt there. I told Drew he’s got to get hand control. That’s something he’s got to work on.”
Colorado Mesa’s James Martinez (149) and Jon Gappmaier (157) won major decisions. Tyler Nelson (133) and Tyler Miles (165) won decisions for the Mavs.