Mavericks’ Donarski close to realizing his mat potential

Mavericks' Donarski close to realizing his mat potential

Colorado Mesa’s Trevor Donarski has had an up-and-down two-plus years for the Mavs. However, the junior looks to have turned a corner, going 4-0 at last weekend’s Tracy Borah Duals. Donarski and the Mavs host two RMAC duals this weekend, starting today with Chadron State.



CMU (4-6, 0-1 RMAC) vs. Chadron State (3-4, 0-2 RMAC), 7 tonight, Brownson Arena

CMU vs. N.M. Highlands (2-3, 0-1 RMAC), 6 p.m., Friday, Brownson Arena

Notes: The Mavericks dropped out of the top 20 national rankings last week, but did receive some votes, along with Chadron State. CMU freshman Brayden Humphreys will wrestle at 141 pounds after missing last week with food poisoning. Heavyweight Trevor Stapp has decided not to wrestle this semester; Stapp also plays football. Chadron State’s Chris Leak (197 pounds) upset No. 2-ranked Josh McPeek of Adams State with a single-leg takedown in overtime last week. Easton Hargrave of Highlands (174) went 3-0 with three pins last week in a dual tournament in Phoenix. “Chadron has put together a good team,” CMU coach Chuck Pipher said. “Highlands won two duals last weekend and has a good squad.”

There have been times Trevor Donarski looks like he can be an All-American.

The Colorado Mesa University wrestler has placed in some open tournaments and tangled with some of the best, but he hasn’t blossomed into one of them ... yet.

“It’s been a lot of up and down,” Donarski said. “I haven’t really had a full year yet where everything went right.”

This season it could be falling into place for the 149-pound junior from Powell, Wyo.

Donarski (13-8) went 4-0 last weekend in the Tracy Borah Duals in Gunnison and appears ready to establish himself in the RMAC, starting tonight.

Colorado Mesa hosts Chadron State (Neb.) College at 7 tonight at Brownson Arena. The Mavericks host New Mexico Highlands at 6 p.m. on Friday.

“We’re wanting (Donarski) to turn the corner right now,” CMU coach Chuck Pipher said. “That’s what we need him to do. He had a rough weekend two weeks ago (in Arizona). This is really his first year he’s been wrestling healthy and not pulled from a redshirt.

“He’s under the radar for us right now. He has a lot of talent and technique. It’s just getting him turning the corner. Once he does, he’s going to be really good.”

Donarski, a two-time Wyoming state champion and four-time state placer, considered going to Chadron State out of high school, but decided on CMU after fellow Wyoming prep wrestlers Tyler Juby and Telbe Storbeck chose Mesa.

“I started to look at it and it’s a way nicer place to go than Chadron,” Donarski said.

Pipher planned to redshirt Donarski his freshman year, but Donarski ended up wrestling because of an injury to a starter. He was 18-13 (3-3 RMAC).

Donarski competed with teammate Jon Gappmaier for a spot early in Donarski’s sophomore season. He wrestled in a couple of open tournaments, but tore the meniscus in a knee and had to sit out several weeks before returning to the mat. He finished 10-11 (2-3 RMAC).

“There was a time last year before he got injured he went with the No. 2-ranked guy in the nation and lost by a point,” Pipher said.

Donarski made the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Academic Team and was RMAC All-Academic second team. The exercise science major has a 3.89 GPA.

“Ever since middle school, my parents made sure I got good grades,” Donarski said. “I think school is more important. My dad talked to me that college sports only matters for four years. After that, whatever you do in college doesn’t matter. I thought about that more this year.”

This season, he’s healthy, and after a slow start, he appears to be on the verge of becoming a successful college wrestler.

“The past two weeks, I didn’t compete so I could focus on wrestling and getting better,” Donarski said. “I didn’t have to worry about cutting weight. I could focus on getting my mind right because after the weekend in Arizona, it was not there.

“I feel like I’m in better shape. I’m mentally stronger going through all the practices.”

Donarski wants to be an All-American, but it won’t be easy. There are three wrestlers in the RMAC ranked in the top five in the nation in his weight class. He’ll likely need to beat one of them to qualify for nationals.

“I need to get better and more confident with my wrestling,” he said. “I need to control my matches and not let them control it. I feel like I’m getting back to where I was before.”


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