PUEBLO, Colo. (February 28, 2015) – The Colorado State University-Pueblo wrestling team finished sixth overall at the NCAA Division II West Super Regional and sent three wrestlers to the national tournament.
Seniors Eric Hughes (133, Bolivar, Mo.) and Niko Bogojevic (HWT, Superior, Wis.) and freshman JaCobi Jones (165, Omaha, Neb.) will all be heading to nationals after finishing in the top four of the regional tournament. Bogojevic will be wrestling on the grandest stage of Division II for the second time in three years after qualifying in 2013.
The ThunderWolves hosted the regional at Massari Arena, welcoming 14 teams from six states and two countries.
The NCAA Division II National Championships will be held March 13-14 in St. Louis at Chaifetz Arena.
Hughes finished third at 133, winning twice Saturday and finishing the tournament with four straight victories. He won on a 10-6 decision in the consolation semifinal and then edged out Western State Colorado University's Zachary Shank, 6-5, to earn third place and head to nationals, which is held in his home state. Shank was Hughes' lone loss in the tournament (SV-1 6-4), as he went 4-1 in the tournament.
He owns a 16-7 overall record and held the No. 8 ranking nationally at 133 entering the weekend.
Bogojevic used a last second takedown in the first period of sudden victory to win 3-1 against Ivan DeLeon of University of Nebraska at Kearney and advance to the third place match. DeLeon shot at Bogojevic with five seconds left and the senior was able to slide out of the way and record the takedown as the last second ticked off the clock. He went into sudden victory again in the battle for third place, but this time lost 2-1 due to getting hit with stalling for the second time, resulting in the match-deciding point.
Bogojevic will carry a 27-13 record into the national tournament.
Jones also posted some late-period heroics in his first match of the day, as he broke a 4-4 tie with a takedown in the third period with just two ticks left on the clock. Jones battled Western State's Austin Harris in the third place match, but suffered a 7-4 loss. As time started to wind down under 20 seconds in the third period, Jones faced a 3-2 deficit and needed to attack. His efforts resulted in a takedown and the lead, but Harris reversed the move and added a two-point near-fall to win 7-4.
Jones is the first Pack freshman to earn a trip to the nationals since the program returned in 2008. He will tout a 20-9 mark into his first national tournament appearance.
Junior Tim Urenda (Pueblo, Colo.) lost both his Saturday matches at 141. He suffered an 8-1 decision loss before getting edged out of the fifth place match, 7-6. Urenda finished sixth in the tournament and posted a 26-9 overall record in 2014-15.
Sophomore Steven Ullman (Arvada, Colo.) also suffered two losses, as he fell in a 7-6 decision, then capped the tournament sixth, as he lost 10-4. Ullman closed the season with an 11-16 record.
The ThunderWolves scored 58.5 points and finished as the third best Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference team at the tournament. Fort Hays State University finished with 61.5 points and placed fifth. California Baptist University and New Mexico Highlands University tied for seventh with 53 points.
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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.