Briefs: Mesa State Roundup December 04, 2008

Mesa wrestling team preps for final tourney of 2008


• With a young roster, Mesa State College wrestling coach Chuck Pipher figures mat time is a little more important than quality matches.
That’s why the Mavericks are wrestling in the Fort Hays State Bob Smith Open on Saturday in Hays, Kan., instead of the Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas.
“We wanted to change it up,” Pipher said. “We can take more wrestlers to an open. It comes down to mat time. Next year, we might go back to Vegas.”
Pipher will take a full team, along with redshirts who will wrestle unattached. Pipher is expecting 20 wrestlers in the program to wrestle.
“The biggest thing is we have no duals before Christmas,” he said. “It’s tough to put a team together before wrestlers can make weight. Miguel Baltazar is still trying to get down to 25s. We’re working on getting matches in right now.”
Redshirt freshmen Chris Harvey and Kyle Brightman will compete at 174 pounds with the varsity spot likely on the line. Luke Laurita could end up there as well.
Another freshman, Rhett Breed, will get a chance to wrestle at either 133 or 144 pounds and possibly make the team. Pipher had originally planned to redshirt him.
Junior Cole Johnson is back to wrestle at 165 after missing the Old Chicago Northern Colorado Open with an injury.
Heavyweight is another weight class up for grabs among redshirt freshmen Dwayne Bacon and Korey Kennedy and freshman Trevor Stapp.
The Bob Smith Open is the Mavericks’ final tournament before Christmas, but they return to wrestle in the Midwest Classic on Jan. 3-4 in Indianapolis.


• Mesa State had planned to compete in the Mutual of Omaha Invitational this weekend, but opted to skip the meet to allow the swimmers to prepare for next week’s final exams.
The Mavericks are scheduled to take a training trip Jan. 7-15 to Orlando, Fla., and compete Jan. 11 at the University of Tampa.


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