GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com – Feb. 28, 2014)— Led by Matt Addington (Jr., Florence, Colo.) and Trevor Grant (Sr., Winnemucca, Nev.) at 165 and 174 pounds, the Colorado State University-Pueblo ThunderWolves could qualify as many as eight men for the NCAA Division II National Championships and stand in fifth place of the team standings after the first day of the NCAA West Regional/Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Wrestling Championships, which got underway Friday here on the campus of Colorado Mesa University.
Addington and Grant, who reached the championship finals in their respective weight classes, are guaranteed a spot in the national tournament, after they went a combined 5-0 to lead the Pack. Both can finish no lower than second.
The other six Pack wrestlers still alive are all in the consolation bracket and must win two matches on Saturday in order to take the third and final spot in the national tournament that is available in each of the ten weight classes.
Meanwhile, Tim Urenda (So., Pueblo, Colo.) at 125 pounds, Jimmy Chase (Jr., Hanover Park, Ill.) at 141 pounds, Justin Gonzales (Sr., Greeley, Colo.) at 149 pounds, Ray Hall (Sr., Oak Park, Mo.) at 157 pounds all won opening-round matches and advanced to the championship semifinals before being knocked down to the consolations.
The Pack's Augie DeSantis (So., Escondido, Calif.) at 174 pounds and Niko Bogojevic (Jr., Superior, Wisc.) at heavyweight went the other way and dropped their quarterfinal matches before bouncing back for the first of what will need to be three wins in the consolations to reach the national tournament.
In the team standings, the Pack have 35 teams points and trail the host Mavericks by just one point for a spot in the top four. Western State leads the team chase with 62 ½ points while Cal Baptist is in second with 55. Adams State stands third with 51.
Saturday's second day action will begin at 11 a.m. with the consolation semifinals. The championship finals will start at 6 p.m.
Complete Team Standings (After Day 1)
1. Western State, 62.5
2. Cal Baptist, 55
3. Adams State, 51
4. Colorado Mesa, 36
5. CSU-Pueblo, 35
6. Chadron State, 31
7. San Francisco State, 25
8. New Mexico Highlands, 15
9. Simon Fraser, 14.5
10. Colorado Mines, 10