Storbeck makes most of his chance
With Gappmaier out, junior wins three matches for CMU
It’s been tough for Telbe Storbeck to make the starting lineup for the Colorado Mesa University wrestling team.
The junior has been limited to wrestling in open tournaments in his three previous seasons, including a redshirt year.
The 157-pounder got an opportunity to wrestle Friday night in place of returning national qualifier Jon Gappmaier, and he was ready for it.
Storbeck went 3-0 in Mesa dual victories over Sierra (Calif.) College, Western Wyoming Community College and Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) Aeronautical University at Brownson Arena. The No. 20 Mavericks (3-0) defeated Sierra 42-9, Western Wyoming 22-15 and Embry-Riddle 25-6.
“It’s getting mentally ready when you have to fill in,” Storbeck said. “It’s all balance. I think something we train on is mental toughness. It’s always exciting when you can get a ‘W’ and help your team out.”
Storbeck won three tight matches, including a 4-2 decision over Embry-Riddle’s Matt Coultas in the final dual of the night.
“The kid came out on fire,” Storbeck said. “He wanted to brawl. I kept my cool, wrestled my match and kept myself in it. When guys come out like a ball of fire like that, they tend to make mistakes.”
Although Storbeck has seen limited mat time, he wrestled like a seasoned veteran.
“Telbe’s been around,” CMU coach Chuck Pipher said. “For him to be No. 2 (behind Gappmaier at 157 pounds) is where he needs to be. He may see some (more) time this year.”
Storbeck (3-2) is 26-18 in his career at Mesa, with most of his matches coming in open tournaments.
“We’re trying to build a program here,” Storbeck said. “As Coach Pipher says, if a guy goes down, we can plug another guy in and win matches. That’s why it’s so exciting for me to get out there and be able to win matches.
“The better I make myself, the better I push Gapp and vice versa.”
Gappmaier, along with senior Tyler Nelson, didn’t wrestle Friday night because of minor injuries and won’t wrestle in the Colorado Mesa Open tournament beginning at 9 a.m. today. It’s nothing to be concerned about.
“They could’ve both gone this weekend, but there’s no use in chancing it,” Pipher said.
Other young Mavericks stepped in the lineup Friday and did fine. Several new faces, with limited collegiate experience, were a combined 11-4.
Sophomore Drew Schumann was 2-0 at 141, including a 7-4 victory over Western Wyoming’s Mario Luna, ranked eighth in the National Junior College Athletic Association.
Redshirt freshman Mitch Wyatt won two of three matches at 174, including a pinfall.
Freshman Daniel Salazar was 2-0 at 133, and freshman Jonathon Stelling split a pair of matches.
Stelling was tied with Embry-Riddle junior Sean Silva with 24 seconds left when Silva escaped for a point and a 4-3 victory at 125 pounds.
Mesa sophomore Paco Retana picked up an exciting 13-6 victory against a much bigger heavyweight from Western Wyoming.
Retana was in a precarious position when he suddenly turned the tables on Mike Williams, ranked 12th in the NJCAA.
Retana went from having his arm pinned behind his back with his face to the mat in a tie match to a 7-4 lead entering the third period.
“Every time he got a chance on top he did a good job getting my arm back,” Retana said. “I caused movement to escape. Then the horn went off on the other mat. He must have thought it was our horn. I was still in my stance and went low. I’m glad I got a shot in before the buzzer.”
Retana scored another takedown and a near fall in the third period for a 13-5 lead.