Wrestling starts busy week with Wyoming on Wednesday
Northern Colorado hosts #14 Wyoming on Wednesday in Western Wrestling Conference action and then returns to the mats on Friday for a double-dual with Cal State Bakersfield and Northern Iowa. The Cowboys and Panthers are both undefeated in WWC duals at 4-0 and 2-0, respectively. Live stats and live video will be available on uncbears.com for all four matches this week.
Senior Send Off
Friday marks the final home wrestling duals for the 2011 seniors. Eric Brennan, Rocco DePaolo and Justin Gaethje are the three seniors on the squad, but only Brennan and Gaethje will be in the dual lineups.
Gaethje Ranked 12th
Senior Justin Gaethje is currently ranked 12th by InterMat this week. The 149-pounder was also ranked 11th in the first NCAA coaches' panel rankings and is 12th according to WIN magazine and ninth in the most recent Amateur Wrestling News rankings. Gaethje is 11-3 overall on the season and 6-2 in dual action and is looking to snap a two-match losing streak.
Last Time Out
Northern Colorado won just two bouts against Oregon State in the Bears' first match at home in two months, losing 35-9. Sam Bauer (125) got the Bears on the board with a fall over Christian Strahl at the 4:30 mark. The victory is Bauer's first dual win of the year and evens his season record at 12-12. The other victory belonged to Tanner Weiks (157). He won 5-2 over Alex Elder for his first dual win of the year as well. OSU won two bouts by NC forfeits and had bonus point victories at three other weight classes.
This week, the Bears will face both undefeated teams in the Western Wrestling Conference. Wyoming is tied for 14th in the InterMat poll this week with a 4-0 conference mark, while Northern Iowa is 36th in the same poll and 2-0 in league action. Cal State Bakersfield is in the PAC-10 Conference, the fourth team from that league the Bears will face this season (Arizona State, Boise State, Oregon State).
On Cruz Control
Junior Casey Cruz has only lost twice in his last 12 bouts and both losses were to top-15 ranked wrestlers. Eleven of those 12 matches have come at 133 pounds for a 10-2 record at that weight. Prior to dropping to 133 pounds, Cruz had an 8-6 record at 141 pounds and moved back down a weight due to injuries on the team.
Senior Justin Gaethje (149) is just three wins shy of career victory #75. The returning All-American is first on the active roster with 72 wins, while junior Brandon Kammerzell is second with 42 victories.
Three Bears have actually recorded falls in less than a minute this season, but the fastest of the year belongs to freshman heavyweight Konner Knudtsen in 27 seconds in his very first bout as a collegiate athlete. Knudtsen pinned Kimball Jordan from CSU-Pueblo in the opening round of the Cowboy Open.
Bears Ink Five
Second-year head coach Ben Cherrington announced the signing of five
student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. Nick Adams (Monument, Colo.), Travis Himmelman (Evergreen, Colo.), Cody Knight (Bishop, Ga.), Jesse Meis (Alamosa, Colo.) and Garrett Vasquez (Loveland, Colo.) will all join the Bears wrestling family.
Northern Colorado wrestling has added a live video streaming feature to the website. All duals can now been seen live on uncbears.com for no charge. The Bears are also providing live bout-by-bout statistics as well. Both links can be found on the wrestling schedule page.