Pack wrestling claims best regional finish since '01, advance three to nationals

Pack wrestling claims best regional finish since '01, advance three to nationals

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. ( – Mar. 1, 2014) — Senior Ray Hall (Oak Park, Mo.) won two consolation matches and will join CSU-Pueblo teammates and NCAA West Regional/RMAC Championship finalists Matt Addington (Jr., Florence, Colo.) and Trevor Grant (Sr., Winnemucca, Calif.) at the NCAA Division II National Wrestling Championships in Cleveland, Ohio on Mar. 14 and 15.  Hall finished third in the 157-pound bracket while coming through with a pair of clutch wins on Saturday helping the ThunderWolves maintain their fifth place finish in the team standings at the 2-tournament hosted by Colorado Mesa University here in Brownson Arena.

With only three men advancing to the national tournament in each of the 10 weight classes, Hall needed to win twice after suffering a semifinal loss on Saturday evening and did just that defeating Western State's Shawn Seppala, 7-2 and Colorado Mesa's Trevor Donarski, 5-1 to book a return trip to the national championships.

Hall earned all-America honors last season at 174 pounds.

Meanwhile, Addington will be going to his first national tournament after going 3-1 at 165 pounds.  He fell to Adams State's Mark Mabry in Saturday's championship session.

Grant, now a 3-time national qualifier, went 2-1 in the tournament at 174 pounds, falling only to Western State standout Elliot Copeland.

In other action, the Pack's Justin Gonzales (Sr., Greeley, Colo.) fell just one point shy of advancing to nationals at 149 pounds.  He pinned New Mexico Highlands' Pierce Stowman in the consolation semifinals before falling 6-5 to Cal Baptist's Alex Annunciation in a re-match of Friday's quarterfinal match that went to Gonzales by a 3-2 score.  Gonzales finished fourth.

Four other Pack wrestlers in action on Saturday dropped their first consolation matches of the day on Saturday.

Finishing with 44 team points, the Pack earned their best regional finish since 2001.

Final Team Standings

1. Western State, 86.5
2. Cal Baptist, 79.5
3. Adams State, 62.5
4. Colorado Mesa, 51
5. CSU-Pueblo, 44
6. San Francisco State, 41.5
7. Chadron State, 35.5
8. New Mexico Highlands, 25.5
9. Simon Fraser, 14.5
10. Colorado Mines, 12.5