Mesa State’s Pipher returns to old school

Mesa State College wrestling coach Chuck Pipher returns to his old stomping grounds for CSU-Pueblo’s first home dual in eight years.

The ThunderWolves host the Mavericks at 7 tonight in an RMAC dual, the first home wrestling match since the school dropped the program eight years ago.

“It will be good,” Pipher said, deflecting the attention to the teams. Pipher won three national titles for what was the University of Southern Colorado.

“We’ve got to be focused. We are a little worn out. We got in (Monday) morning and will spend five days on the road, but that’s no excuse.”

Mesa State placed 10th in the Midwest Classic last weekend in Indianapolis, Ind., thanks in large part to Chase Walker’s second-place finish at 157 pounds and to a full roster. The junior from Morgan, Utah, is ranked fourth in the nation this week.

“Putting 10 on the mat is huge,” Pipher said. “We had six or seven the last two years. It’s a big difference.

“It was huge to get Miguel (Baltazar) and Rhett (Breed) down to (125 and 133 pounds). The big thing this week is can we keep them down?”

If Baltazar and Breed can maintain their weight, the Mavericks will fill their roster and can win some RMAC duals.

The Mavericks continue a trip down memory lane for Pipher when they wrestle New Mexico Highlands at 7 p.m. on Thursday. The Cowboys are coached by Pipher’s coach at Southern Colorado, Doug Moses. Mesa State wraps up the RMAC road trip Friday at No. 6 Adams State.
CSU-Pueblo’s roster consists mostly of freshmen and some college transfers. The
ThunderWolves were 2-2 last weekend at the Lone Star Duals in Texas.

“CSU-Pueblo is a decent team,” Pipher said. “They have some transfers in with a few freshmen, too. We should be evenly matched.”

Highlands is in its fourth year of the program and is led by Jesse Feinsod. The 174-pound senior is ranked fourth in the nation.

Adams State, which dropped from No. 4 to No. 6 in the nation this week, has five ranked wrestlers, led by 141-pound senior Raymond Dunning.

“We were close to beating (Adams State wrestlers) in three of the four matches (last weekend),” Pipher said. “They’ll be fired up.”

They have some good individuals, but they have some holes, too. They are beat up right now.”

Mesa hosts its first dual of the season Jan. 17 against Colorado School of Mines.


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