Utah Valley State Hands Wrestling Bears Loss in Season Finale
Feb. 23, 2006
GREELEY, Colo. - The Utah Valley State Wolverines spoiled Northern Colorado's final dual match of the season as well as Senior Night for Nathan Gerrard in defeating the Bears 32-10 on Thursday night at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion.
The dual loss dropped Northern Colorado to 7-9 on the season, denying the Bears of their first .500 season since beginning the reclassification process to Division I following the 2002-03 season. Utah Valley State, also in the reclassification process to Division I, finished the season 9-9 overall.
This is the wrestling program's final season of not being eligible for NCAA postseason (due to the waiting period associated with the transition). The wrestling Bears will have a chance to qualify for postseason beginning next season, when they have full Division I status.
The Wolverines, who lost to Northern Colorado 23-21 in Orem on Jan. 16 of this season, took an early 3-0 lead when Ivan Bigney tallied an 8-5 decision over Tim Sexton at 184 pounds.
The Bears, however, captured the lead after 197 when Reece Hopkin, ranked 20th nationally in Division I, scored a pinfall victory one minute into his match with Jaime Thornblad. His pin on Thursday was his ninth of the season and also his fastest, besting his former quickest mark by 16 seconds.
Hopkin finished the season with a 27-6 overall record and 14-2 mark in dual matches. He finished the year by winning 14 of his final 16 matches.
But after the Bears led 6-3 they would not lead again. Heavyweight Justin Tuell was pinned by Utah Valley's Dallin Norton at 1:01, which sparked a seven-bout winning streak for the Wolverines.
The Bears did not win again until 184 pounds, when Shawn Hart captured a 14-1 major decision victory over Garret Story. Hart capped his tremendous sophomore season with a 25-5 overall record and 13-2 mark in dual competition. He won eight of his last nine matches to close the campaign.
Gerrard, the team's lone senior, suffered a loss in his final collegiate match, 10-2 to Tanner Cowan, at 157 pounds. He finished his three-year career at Northern Colorado with a 37-46 overall record including a 18-17 mark during his senior season.
"We just did not have a lot of spark tonight," said Northern Colorado head coach Jack Maughan who completed his 19th season as coach. "I might have been our tough week last week when we wrestled four duals. We had a shot to be .500 on the season, so that is a little disappointing.
"But we are now Division I eligible starting next season, so the work begins tomorrow. We are done with the transition and will focus on our future."
Northern Colorado still holds a 4-2 lead in the all-time series with Utah Valley State.
In earlier matches during the day, Utah Valley State topped Air Force 24-20 and Northern Colorado defeated Air Force 22-18.
Utah Valley State 32, Northern Colorado 10
184 - Ivan Bigney (UVSC) dec. Tim Sexton (NCOL), 8-5
197 - #20 Reece Hopkin (NCOL) pinned Jaime Thornblad (UVSC), 1:00
HWT - Dallin Norton (UVSC) pinned Justin Tuell (NCOL), 1:01
125 - Talon Vickers (UVSC) dec. Beau Hessler (NCOL), 8-5
133 - Erkin Tadzhimetov (UVSC) maj. dec. Kyle Swenson (NCOL), 15-2
141 - Daniel Polkowske (UVSC) pinned Richard Lohr (NCOL), 2:13
149 - Justin Rawle (UVSC) dec. Kyle LeValley (NCOL), 7-3
157 - Tanner Cowan (UVSC) maj. dec. Nathan Gerrard (NCOL), 11-2
165 - Devin Siddoway (UVSC) dec. Devan Lewis (NCOL), 9-4
174 - Shawn Hart (NCOL) maj. dec. Garret Story (UVSC), 14-1