Mesa overcomes 3 forfeits in win
Chuck Pipher knew he was forfeiting one weight class Friday night. Then, the Colorado Mesa wrestling coach found out two more wrestlers were injured.
Freshman 125-pounder Erick Vargas had a concussion from Thursday night’s victory over Chadron State, and junior heavyweight Jordan Passehl had a foot injury.
The 18th-ranked Mavericks forfeited three weight classes but still managed to defeat New Mexico Highlands 29-18 in an RMAC dual at Brownson Arena.
“Believe me, it was a stressful day in the world of wrestling,” Pipher said. “It’s just one of those things you battle through. We have a 40-man roster, and we can’t seem to fill it. It’s almost like we need 50 or 60.”
Everyone else who did wrestle for the Mavericks (9-2, 3-0 RMAC) won their matches.
Trevor Donarski (13-4) was a takedown machine, racking up six of them in a 14-5 major decision over Jesse Martinez at 157 pounds.
“At the beginning (of the match), I was getting nervous because I wasn’t getting any takedowns,” Donarski said. “Whenever I don’t get takedowns, it worries me. I started getting my confidence during the match.”
Paco Retana had the most exciting match. The 197-pound junior bumped up to heavyweight and immediately put Cody Marquez on his back. The Highlands heavyweight reversed Retana and scored back points of his own. They did that one more time in the first period before Retana eventually pinned Marquez in the third.
“I left it up to (Retana), and he said, ‘I’d rather wrestle (Highlands 197-pounder Justin) Rockhill in the conference (tournament),” Pipher said.
Retana chose to wrestle at heavyweight so Passehl could rest his foot. Pipher said they chose to hold out Passehl and not risk further injury.
Pipher had as many as seven possible wrestlers at 184 pounds at the start of the season, but he is down to none because of injuries, ineligibility and others who quit the team.
Colorado Mesa is hosting an open tournament today at Brownson Arena for backup and redshirt wrestlers.
Swimming & Diving
Kent Olsen-Stavrakas and Briana Purkapile each won two events to lead Colorado Mesa on the first day of the Bill and Peggy Foster Duals at El Pomar Natatorium.
The Mesa men lead Adams State 156-18. The Grizzlies lead the Mesa women 112.5-70.5. This is the Mavericks’ final meet before the RMAC Championships next month.
Olsen-Stavrakas won the men’s 100-yard freestyle in 47.17 seconds and the 50 freestyle in 21.52 seconds.
Purkapile won the women’s 100 freestyle in 53.8 seconds and the 200 individual medley in 2:12.75.
Jarren Brinton took first place in the 500 freestyle in 4:50.04, and Justin Hastings took first in the 200 individual medley in 1:57.59.
Track & Field
Colorado Mesa sprinter Whitney Rowe posted an NCAA Division II provisional-qualifying time on the first day of the Air Force Indoor Invitational in Colorado Springs.
The junior placed second in her women’s 200-meter preliminary race in 24.87 seconds. The finals are scheduled for today.
Rowe joins teammate Bacall Sterling as a provisional qualifier.
Sterling qualified in the women’s triple jump for the second consecutive week when she recorded a first-place leap of 11.69 meters in the Adams State Open last weekend.
The sophomore received the RMAC women’s field athlete of the week award for her efforts.