OMAHA, Neb. - The CSU-Pueblo wrestling squad's three national tournament representatives fell just short of securing All-American status Friday at the NCAA Division II National Championships, as two ThunderWolves fell just one win short of placing at their weight and earning All-American honors.
Justin Grant (Jr., Winnemucca, Nev.) at 165 pounds and heavyweight Patrick Carey (Jr., Tempe, Ariz.), each of which drew the nation's top wrestler at their respective weight to open the tournament, opened with losses and both earned wins initially in the consolation bracket.
Grant bested Central Oklahoma's Derrick Adkins with a 7-2 decision, but fell to RMAC foe Taylor May from Nebraska-Kearney, knocking Grant out of the tournament.
Carey had a similar story, rebounding from his first-round loss to claim an 11-5 decision over Upper Iowa's Lynn Panko. But like Grant, an RMAC foe dealt the death blow as San Francisco State's Steve Franklin knocked Carey out of the tournament.
Both Grant and Carey would have placed in the top eight win one more victory. The top eight finishers at each weight are named All-Americans.
Also competing at nationals was RMAC champion Louie DeSantis (Sr., Escondido, Calif.). DeSantis, unfortunately, lost his first two matches, the first by a slim margin as Upper Iowa's Derek Stolarzyk claimed a 4-3 decision over DeSantis.