PUEBLO, Colo. (January 28, 2018) - The No. 5 Colorado State University-Pueblo wrestling team fell to No. 10 University of Central Oklahoma Sunday in a nonconference dual.
The bout was the final tune-up for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championships, set for Feb. 3. The ThunderWolves (6-6, 4-1 RMAC) will be defending their 2017 conference title Saturday in Colorado Springs at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. Wrestling begins at 9 a.m.
In the bout against UCO (13-3), the Pack totaled just two victories, as the Broncos strategically forfeited the 165 and 184 matches where No. 2 JaCobi Jones (Sr., Omaha, Neb.) and No. 1 JaVaughn Perkins (So., Omaha, Neb.) were set to wrestle.
The ThunderWolves won the first match at 133, as No. 7 PT Garcia (Jr., Denver, Colo.) earned an 8-3 decision victory against his opponent to improve to 7-3 on the season. Garcia led the entire bout, as he was ahead 4-0 in the third period. An escape and takedown by his Broncho opponent made the score 4-3, but Garcia cleaned up the final minute of the period with an escape, takedown and a bonus ride time point for the win.
Central Oklahoma won the next three bouts before the 165 forfeit to lead 10-9 through five. Next up was Gavin Melendez (So., Los Banos, Calif.) at 174. Wrestling up three weight classes from when he started the season, Melendez owned a 2-1 lead after the first period and was ahead 4-2 after the second. He made a mistake early in the third period and after a takedown and four-point near-fall, Stopp of UCO was leading 8-4. Melendez was awarded a penalty point and then reversed Stopp to cut the deficit to 8-7. With time running down, Melendez allowed Stopp to escape and with under 10 seconds remaining, secured a takedown to force overtime tied 9-9. Midway through the one minute sudden victory overtime period, the sophomore saw an opportunity and recorded a takedown to secure the victory 11-9.
The ThunderWolves were winning 18-10 after seven matches, but suffered losses in the final three bouts (UCO touts the No. 4 wrestler nationally at heavyweight and No. 2 wrestler at 125) to lose the dual 20-18.
The next "home" dual will be Feb. 10 when the Pack host Chadron State College in an RMAC dual at East High School. The bout is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
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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.