Close matches are no consolation for Mavs in loss
The Mesa State College wrestling team had its chances, but was unable to take advantage of them.
Ninth-ranked Nebraska-Kearney had three pins and won five close matches to defeat Mesa State 37-6 on Thursday night at Brownson Arena.
“We didn’t have enough urgency in some of those matches,” Mesa State coach Chuck Pipher said. “We’re letting them waddle back (to the center circle).
“There were a few matches we got handled out there, but for the most part, we were in those matches.”
Mesa State 157-pound sophomore Jon Gappmaier did more than find a way to win, he pinned Islam Abitov of Kyrgyzstan, in 5 minutes, 52 seconds for the Mavericks’ only victory.
“I’m peaking right now, so it’s good timing,” Gappmaier said. “I had a rough start, but I’m peaking right now for sure.”
It was Gappmaier’s fourth consecutive win.
“(Assistant coach Chris) Frieje’s been helping me a lot with positioning,” Gappmaier said. “I’ve been getting my shots a lot, that’s been helping me to score.”
Pipher thought Dylan Granard had a chance to upset sixth-ranked Joey Wilson at 165 pounds, but Wilson built an 8-4 lead and held on for an 11-8 victory. “We felt like we were in it,” Pipher said. “We made a coaching error there. We should’ve rode him out and looked for a stall call.”
Granard limped off the mat and had ice on his right knee. Pipher thinks Granard ‘popped’ his knee in his match, but is optimistic Granard will return to the lineup for the NCAA West Regional on Feb. 25-26 in San Francisco. Shane Miller ‘popped’ his knee Wednesday night in his win against Fort Hays State, but should return for regionals as well.
Korey Kennedy wrestled in Miller’s place and lost a 12-1 major decision to Nick Bauman.
Mesa’s Daniel Romero, Tyler Nelson, Zak Slotten and Kyle Brightman all lost decisions by one or two points.
“I’ve seen (Mesa’s) program get started over the last few years,” Kearney coach Marc Bauer said. “He’s got some tough kids. All my kids were walking off the mat going ‘That kid’s strong.’ They pushed us tonight, no doubt about it. That’s what they need right now and that’s what we need right now.”
Swimming & Diving
Mesa State freshman Brock Martin won the 1-meter diving title with a score of 523.85 to lead the Mavericks on the first day of the RMAC Championships at El Pomar Natatorium.
The Mesa men are in fourth place with 147 points through six events. The University of Incarnate Word (Texas) is first with 247.5.
Liam Acosta took third with a score of 397.85.
The Mesa women are in third place in the women’s team scores with 164 points through six events.
Katie Wedel took third place in the women’s 200 individual medley in 2 minutes, 10.81 seconds for the Mavericks.
The meet continues with preliminary swims at 9 a.m. and finals at 4 p.m. today.