Wrestling Heads To 37th Annual Cowboy Open
Lets Get It Started
Northern Colorado will compete in the 37th annual Cowboy Open, hosted by the University of Wyoming, on Saturday. The tournament will have two divisions, amateur and elite, with 10 weight classes in each division. Senior Tony Mustari will be attempting to win his third-straight title at 125 pounds, while sophomore Tanner Weiks will also try to defend his title at 157 pounds.
A Small Start
Four wrestlers got their seasons started a little early, competing at the 2009 Northwest Open, hosted by Northwest College. Sophomore Casey Cruz won the title at 141 pounds, posting a 5-0 record. Redshirt freshman Jacob Milewski also wrestled at 141 pounds tallying a mark of 1-2 in his first event for the Bears. Sophomore Brandon Kammerzell posted a 4-2 record at 174 pounds en route to a fourth-place finish. His first two victories of the day were by fall, including one in just 0:53, the fastest pin of his career. Senior David Alvarez, in his first tournament for the Bears went 2-2 at heavyweight including a pin in 2:31. Five wrestlers also competed unattached at the tournament, led by Justin Gonzalez' third-place finish at 149 pounds.
Senior David Alvarez returns to the sport of wrestling after spending four years on the gridiron at Colorado College. Alvarez is working on his graduate degree at Northern Colorado and has one remaining year of eligibility. He also joins his younger sister, Annita, who is a freshman on the track & field team for the Bears.
Oh Captain, My Captain
Seniors Kenny Hashimoto (141 pounds), Tony Mustari (125 pounds) and sophomore Casey Cruz (133 pounds) have been named team captains for the 2009-10 season.
Changing of the Guard
After spending 21 years as the head coach at Northern Colorado, Jack Maughan announced his retirement this summer and handed the reins of the program, at least temporarily, over to Ben Cherrington. A 2006 NCAA champion at Boise State, Cherrington has been the assistant coach at Northern Colorado the past two years and was named the interim head coach for the 2009-10 season. Maughan is still a part of the department of athletics however, as he is the director of development.
Searching For A Fourth
Senior 125-pounder Tony Mustari begins his final campaign in hopes of a fourth-straight NCAA appearance. The Bears have two others on the roster who have advanced to the NCAA Championship in senior Kenny Hashimoto (141 pounds) and junior Justin Gaethje (157 pounds). Sophomore Mitchell Polkowske also went to the NCAAs a year ago, but is serving a church mission for the next two years.
In the preseason W.I.N. poll, Tony Mustari ranks 17th at 125-pounds. The senior is also ranked 19th in the InterMat Preseason Poll, while fellow senior Kenny Hashimoto is ranked 12th at 141-pounds. Mustari begins his senior season with 75 victories and a record of 74-25, while Hashimoto is 49-12.
Northern Colorado will compete against several of the toughest teams in the nation this season as they host #5 Minnesota (Dec. 13, 3 pm) and #6 Oklahoma State (Jan. 29, 1 pm) as well as compete at #7 Nebraska (Jan. 31, 1 pm) and compete in the Northeast Collegiate Duals, the Cliff Keen Invitational and the Stanford Duals.