Mesa wins final five matches to top Chadron
College wrestling coaches often agree to start a wrestling dual at the lowest weight class, but not this time.
Colorado Mesa and Chadron State had to settle for starting the dual at 184 pounds by the official’s blind draw, and it immediately put the Mavericks behind.
Chadron State built a 16-point lead halfway through the dual before Colorado Mesa rallied for a 21-19 RMAC victory Thursday night at Brownson Arena.
The 18th-ranked Mavericks (8-2, 2-0 RMAC) won the final five matches of the dual, including one by major decision and one by technical fall for the victory.
“It kind of worked out better for us. We had to really wrestle those last five matches,” CMU coach Chuck Pipher said.
“I knew when we were down 19-3 we had to win those last five. It might be just like it happened, and we get a couple bonus points. We had to hang in there.”
Chadron State (9-4, 3-1 RMAC) was on a nine-dual win streak entering the dual.
The Eagles opened the dual with a forfeit and moved sixth-ranked Jordan Debus up to 197 pounds to wrestle Paco Retana. Debus (10-1) won a 6-2 decision.
Colorado Mesa heavyweight Jordan Passehl (16-5) won a 4-2 decision, but Chadron State won a major decision at 125 and undefeated, third-ranked Dustin Stodola pinned Jonathon Stelling for a 19-3 lead.
“We knew how they were at 33s, and we’re young at 25s,” Pipher said. “They swapped at 97s, but we knew that might happen. It is good for Paco to get good matches. Debus has been around. When you give up a forfeit at 84s, that will happen.”
The Mavericks’ Daniel Salazar (12-2) wore down Jay Stine for a 10-1 major decision at 141. Then, No. 2-ranked James Martinez survived an aggressive start from Chadron State freshman Jacob Anderson and picked up a technical fall at 149.
Anderson attempted to take Martinez down near the boundary, but Martinez scrambled into a roll and took Anderson down for a takedown and two-point nearfall for a 4-0 lead.
“We practice scrambling,” Martinez said. “That’s Coach (Chris) Freije’s forte. I was comfortable there. For me, there wasn’t a worry.”
Chadron State coach Brett Hunter challenged the official’s no-points call on Anderson’s attempted takedown. The official reviewed video at the table and stuck with his call.
The NCAA is allowing video replay this season after it was used at the NCAA National Championships last season.
“If you watch the film, I scrambled and ended up putting him on his back,” Martinez said. “They tried to challenge. Even if he would’ve gotten two, I would’ve had a reversal and back points.
“They tried to make a deal out of it because they wanted to get an early takedown because he’s a young kid and he’s wrestling someone that is ranked.”
Martinez (13-2) nearly pinned Anderson in the third period, but he ended up with a technical fall with 28 seconds left.
“I was trying like hell to get a pin,” Martinez said. “I already watched the film, and I could hear Chuck screaming, ‘Get the pin.’ I was trying. I was sweaty and tired. It’s hard to get the pins like that.”
Martinez’s technical fall cut Chadron’s lead to five points with three matches left.
Trevor Donarski (12-4), Jessie Hoffschneider (13-2) and seventh-ranked Chester Granard (11-2) each won decisions to complete the rally.
“With us giving up a forfeit, we’re going to have to make up a little ground,” Pipher said.
“Salazar and Jessie just ground them down. They kept riding tough. Chester, too. He needs to beat a freshman in that last match.”