Martinez in national wrestling semis

Colorado Mesa University wrestler James Martinez will meet his expectations of being an All-American after winning his first two matches Friday at the NCAA Division II National Wrestling Championships in Birmingham, Ala.

The sophomore 149-pounder advances to today’s semifinals and can place no worse than sixth. Martinez wrestles top-ranked Raufeon Stots of Nebraska-Kearney in the semifinals at 9 a.m.

Martinez (19-3) opened the tournament with a 14-3 victory over last year’s national runner-up, John Hagerty of Maryville (Mo.) University. He then beat Seton Hill’s Nick Nichols 3-1 in the quarterfinals.

Stots (30-4) defeated Martinez 3-2 in the Super Regional semifinals two weeks ago.

CMU senior Nick Petersen still can achieve All-America status after defeating No. 4-ranked Aaron Norgren of Minnesota State-Mankato 8-4 in the consolation second round.

Petersen (28-8) will wrestle last year’s national runner-up, Adam Walters of Findlay, in the consolation third round today. The winner will earn All-America status, but the loser will be eliminated one win shy of being an All-American.

Petersen defeated Charles Mason of Notre Dame (Ohio) 6-4 in the first round, but lost an 8-2 decision to No. 6-ranked Travis McKillop of Pittsburgh-Johnstown in the quarterfinals.

Walters eliminated Western State Colorado’s Kyle Piatt, an Olathe High School graduate, with an 11-6 decision in the second round of consolation.

CMU senior Jon Gappmaier (13-9) went 0-2 at 157 pounds and was eliminated in his final collegiate tournament.

Zach Vargo of Lake Erie defeated Gappmaier 7-0 in the first round. Seventh-ranked Dillon Bera of Wisconsin-Parkside defeated Gappmaier 15-0 in the consolation bracket.

Swimming & Diving

Brock Martin placed fourth in the 1-meter diving competition to earn All-America honors at the NCAA Division II National Championships in Birmingham, Ala.

The junior scored 506.85 points in the finals after scoring 479.05 points for a sixth-place showing in the preliminaries.

Martin placed eighth in the 3-meter dive Wednesday to earn All-America status.

The Colorado Mesa men’s team is in 19th place with 32 points.

Track & Field

Shane Niksic took 10th place in the 800-meter preliminary run Friday evening at the Division II National Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Ala.

The sophomore finished in 1 minute, 52.74 seconds and missed qualifying for the finals by three-tenths of a second.


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