FORT WAYNE, Ind. (January 4, 2017) - After falling in round one, the No. 7 Colorado State University-Pueblo wrestling team recorded two victories against a pair of the nation's top five teams to remain alive at the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) National Duals in Fort Wayne, Indiana Thursday.
CSU-Pueblo will battle No. 8 Notre Dame (Ohio) Friday at 7 a.m. MST for the opportunity to advance to the fifth place bout at 12 p.m. MST.
All three duals came down to the final bout, the heavyweights. In a rematch of last year's semifinal, the ThunderWolves lost 20-18 to No. 24 Wheeling Jesuit University in the first round to move to the consolation bracket. CSU-Pueblo was ahead 18-13 heading to the final two matches, but couldn't pull out the win. The Pack then defeated Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference foe, No. 4 California Baptist University by the score of 25-21 and followed that with a 23-15 win against No. 5 McKendree University. The ThunderWolves were ahead 22-21 against the Lancers and needed a 3-0 decision win by senior heavyweight Cody Johnson (Sr., Broken Arrow, Okla.) to secure the win. In the final match of the day, Johnson recorded a third period pin to move the score from 17-15 to a 23-15 final.
Both JaCobi Jones (Sr., Omaha, Neb.) and JaVaughn Perkins (R-So., Omaha, Neb.) are ranked No. 2 nationally and both went 3-0. Jones, wrestling at 165 won by three decision victories, which included a win against No. 4 Christian Smith of CBU by the score of 3-2. Perkins also had three decision wins at 184, which included defeating No. 1 Nick Fiegener of Cal-Baptist by the score of 4-1.
No. 6 PT Garcia (Jr., Denver, Colo.) went 2-0 at 133 on the day and defeated No. 12 Naquan Hardy of McKendree by tech fall, 17-2. Johnson went 2-1 and posted the only pin fall the Pack had in the three duals.
After leading in both his first two matches and getting caught to suffer defeats, No. 9 Kyle Fantin (R-Sr., Cave Creek, Ariz.) posted a 7-6 decision win at 157 against McKendree's No. 5 Ryan Strope. Josiah Seaton (Jr., Bonner Springs, Kan.) won his lone match of the day, a 7-1 decision against McKendree. Senior Jared Mestas (Pueblo, Colo.) also won his only bout, as he recorded a 13-3 major decision in the bout against the Lancers.
CSU-Pueblo had to forfeit all their bouts at 174 due to Preston Lauterbach (Jr., Bellevue, Neb.) suffering an injury during warm-ups.
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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.