KEARNEY, Neb. (GoThunderWolves.com - Nov. 25, 2013) - Five ThunderWolf grapplers placed, led by 141-pounder Chad Vandiver (Roscoe, Ill.), as the ThunderWolves competed at the University of Nebraska-Kearney Holiday Inn Open over the weekend.
Vandiver paced the ThunderWolves by turning in a third-place finish in the Elite 141-pound class. Vandiver, who at 28 years old is the oldest competing wrestler on the ThunderWolves' squad, showed he is getting back into elite form by battling his way to the semifinals before taking the consolation championship.
Vandiver's only loss came to Division I grappler, University of Wyoming's Kyle Komata in a 5-2 decision, sending him to the consolation bracket. There, Vandiver defeated Central Oklahoma's Kyle Cradduck and the second seed in the bracket, Morningside's Garret Lambrecht, to place third. In his win over Lambrecht, Vandiver executed an impressive pin at 1:47 in the first period to win. The win was made all the more impressive when considering that Lambrecht defeated the second-ranked 141-pounder in the nation, Nebraska-Kearney's Brock Coutu, en route to his defeat by Vandiver.
Four others battled their way to the 5th-place match to place.
Niko Bogojevic (Jr., Superior, Wisc.) placed fifth in the heavyweight class in the elite division, while two others, Eric Hughes (Bolivar, Mo.) and Jimmy Chase (Jr., Hanover Park, Ill.), each finished sixth in the Elite Division at 125 and 133 pounds, respectively.
In the amateur division, Augustine DeSantis (Escondido, Calif.) finished sixth at 184 pounds after battling his way to the semifinals.
CSU-Pueblo will take a week off before heading to one of the most grueling tournaments in the nation, the Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas, Nev., Dec. 6 and 7.