Mavs split duals at home

Mesa State’s Jon Gappmaier, right, gets the upper hand Wednesday night against Nebraska-Kearney’s Derek Koehn in Gappmaier’s 11-4 win at 157 pounds.

It can take some time to get back in rhythm after a layoff.

Mesa State College wrestlers Shane Miller and Trevor Donarski know all about that.

Both wrestlers, though, picked up a win in an RMAC doubleheader Wednesday at Brownson Arena as the Mavericks split with nationally ranked Grand Canyon (Ariz.) University and Fort Hays State (Kan.) University.

Mesa State upended No. 19 Fort Hays State 27-12 after No. 7 Grand Canyon whipped the Mavericks 30-6.

Mesa State (7-8, 4-5 RMAC) concludes its homestand against Nebraska-Kearney (15-3, 5-1 RMAC) at 7 tonight. The No. 9 Lopers defeated No. 13 Western State 20-19 on Wednesday night in Gunnison.

“It’s always tough coming back (after missing a match),” Miller said.

It showed in his first match back after missing time with a concussion. Grand Canyon’s Eli Arizmendez defeated Miller 14-5.

The 197-pound senior bounced back to pin Fort Hays State’s Steven Kyler in 3 minutes, 36 seconds to lift Mesa to victory in the second match.

“Shane needed that,” Mesa State coach Chuck Pipher said. “He had a concussion two weeks ago. Yesterday was his first practice back, but it’s go time. His clock is ticking. He’s got to make a run here.”

Mesa heavyweight Trevor Stapp and 125-pound freshman Daniel Romero followed Miller’s pin with pins of their own to seal the win against the Tigers.

Jon Gappmaier rolled to an 11-4 decision to get the momentum started for Mesa at 157 pounds.

Chester Granard followed with a 3-1 decision over seventh-ranked Travis Budke, who leads the RMAC in pins.

“He’s real long, a lengthy guy, so I figured I could shoot in easy on him,” Granard said. “I like wrestling that type of match. He has a real good chin whip and puts guys right to their back.

“I tried to shoot a single (leg takedown), so my head would be in tight, but I couldn’t finish it. I got a nice shot on him. From there, I got an escape and had to wrestle smart.”

Zak Slotten followed Granard’s lead, scoring a first-period takedown and holding on for a 3-1 decision.

The Tigers (6-7, 2-5 RMAC) evened the dual 9-9 with a 3-1 win at 184 pounds, but Miller put Mesa ahead for good.

The Mavericks took an early 6-3 lead against Grand Canyon (15-4, 8-0 RMAC) earlier Wednesday with victories from Gappmaier and Donarski, but it was all Lopers after that.

Donarski won his first match since returning to the lineup last week with a 4-3 decision over Austen Moore at 149 pounds.

“When you sit out two months it’s tough,” Pipher said of Donarski. “His timing’s off, you can see it, but he’s got to keep plugging away.”

Gappmaier scored a takedown in the third period and held on for a 7-5 victory over eighth-ranked Teddy Bristol at 157.

“The first dual, Jon Gappmaier had a good win,” Pipher said. “Jonny’s doing a good job.”

The Lopers won the final seven matches, including one by pin and one in double overtime.

Grand Canyon defeated Fort Hays State 26-12 earlier in the day.


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