Wrestling To Battle Utah Valley State On Monday
Jan. 12, 2006
Dual No. 5 | Northern Colorado vs. Utah Valley State
Tuesday, Jan. 16 | 7 p.m. MT | Orem, Utah | UVSC Activities Center (2,000)
MEET INFORMATION The University of Northern Colorado wrestling team will travel to Orem, Utah, to take on fellow Division I Independent Utah Valley State at 7 p.m. on Monday. With a win against the Wolverines, Northern Colorado would be over .500 for the first time since reclassifying to Division I in 2003-04.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT Utah Valley State, a former junior college, is in its third season of Division I competition like Northern Colorado. However, the Wolverines won't be eligible for postseason competition until 2010-11. That doesn't stop them from being a tough team.
UVSC is coming off a 30-15 win over the Big Sky Conference's Portland State. The Wolverines will take part in the Oregon Classic on Friday against Division III Pacific and the Pac 10's Oregon before clashing with the Bears.
SERIES HISTORY Northern Colorado leads the all-time series 2-1 and has won the last two duals. The Bears dominated the Wolverines on the mat in Orem last season, winning the dual 27-12.
Shawn Hart started a string of four straight wins with a 17-11 victory that secured the dual win for the Bears.
THE BEAR FACTS The Bears are coming off a 2-2 performance at the Lone Star Duals in Texas. The Bears picked up wins against Clarion (Pa.) and Newman (Kan.), but lost a pair to North Carolina and Purdue.
Redshirt sophomore Reece Hopkin had perhaps the most impressive showing at the event, going a perfect 4-0. The best part for the 197 pound Hopkin was he picked up an 8-3 win in the heavyweight class against Clarion's 285 pound Richard Brooks. Hopkin is ranked No. 20 in the country by InterMat Wrestling. It is the first ranking for the Bears since reclassifying.
HOPKIN RANKED 20TH NATIONALLY AT 197 POUNDS IN INTERMAT RANKINGS University of Northern Colorado redshirt sophomore wrestler Reece Hopkin is ranked 20th nationally at the 197 pound weight class in the latest InterMat/NWCA/NWMA Division I Individual Rankings, which were released on Tuesday.
The national ranking is the first obtained by a Northern Colorado wrestler since the Bears began the reclassification process to Division I. The Northern Colorado wrestling program will officially be eligible for the NCAA Championships beginning in 2006-07.
Hopkin is currently 13-4 on the season at 197 pounds, including a pinfall victory over Boise State's Casey Phelps, who is ranked 11th in this week's national rankings. Hopkin was 4-0 last Saturday at the Lone Star Duals in Dallas, winning three matches at 197 and bumping up to heavyweight for the team's finale, a match that he won to help the Bears to a victory over Clarion.
Hopkin is a combined 28-10 in his two seasons with the Bears.
BEARS SPLIT FOUR AT LONE STAR DUALS The University of Northern Colorado wrestling team opened the dual portion of its 2005-06 schedule by splitting a quartet of matches at the 2006 Lone Star Duals, held at the South Grand Prairie Warrior Coliseum in Dallas, Texas. The Bears topped Clarion and Newman and fell to North Carolina and Purdue in action on Saturday. Northern Colorado (2-2 in duals) opened the ninth annual event by falling to ACC foe North Carolina 27-12. They rebounded with a 36-9 victory over NAIA Newman University before falling to the Big Ten's Purdue 25-10. The Bears capped off the event with a 21-15 come-from-behind victory over Clarion. Redshirt sophomore Reece Hopkin was a perfect 4-for-4 on the day, including moving from 197 pounds to heavyweight to claim a victory in the event's nightcap. Sophomore Shawn Hart equaled Hopkin's performance, by winning all four of his matches at 174 pounds. True freshman Will Cusker won three of his four matches in his collegiate dual debut. Sophomore Tim Sexton, redshirt sophomore Kyle LeValley and senior Nathan Gerrard were the only other Northern Colorado wrestlers to win more than one match on the day, as each were victorious twice. In the opener against the Tar Heels, it was Cusker, Hopkin and Hart who scored the only victories of the match for the Bears. But UNC was able to bounce back against Newman, winning all but two matches, at 165 pounds and heavyweight (a spot in the order they forfeited all in each of the first three matches of the day). Beau Hessler (125) and Richard Lohr (141) picked up victories in the match. Lohr did so by pinfall, 59 seconds in to the match, as did Hopkin, who won at 3:31. The trio of Cusker, Hopkin and Hart were victorious in the match against the Boilermakers, once again marking the only Northern Colorado victories in the match. In the nightcap against Clarion, the Bears fell behind early, losing the first three matches of the event. But LeValley got the Bears on the winning track, scoring a 11-4 victory over Derrick Smith. Gerrard followed that up with a win. After the Bears were on the short-end of the decision at 165, the Bears would not lose again. Hart won at 174, Sexton won at 184 and redshirt freshman Ryan Johnson claimed a forfeit victory at 197 pounds. That left Hopkin to bump up to heavyweight, and he claimed a 8-3 victory over Richard Brooks.
BEARS PLACE SIX AT UNK LOPER OPEN The University of Northern Colorado wrestling team had six grapplers place at the Nebraska-Kearney Loper Open on Saturday. Sophomore Kenny Hashimoto was named the most outstanding wrestler. Hashimoto, wrestling as unattached, took the 141 pound title after going 4-0, including two pinfalls. Hashimoto won the championship match on an 8-4 decision over Nebraska-Kearney's Jeff Rutledge. Senior Luke Salazar went 4-1 in the 157 pound class and beat teammate Chase Walker on his way to taking third place. Walker claimed fifth place in the same category after beating Chadron State's Jared Webster 11-3 in a majority decision. Freshman Tony Mustari wrestled unattached and went 4-1 on his way to a third place finish in the 125 pound category. Mustari lost his first match but rebounded to win four straight matches, capped off by a 3-1 decision over Dana College's Craig Trampe. Redshirt freshman Tito Rinaldis went 3-2 in the 165 pound class and took fifth place honors after scoring a pinfall at 3:51 over Morningside's Eric Hume.
HART CLAIMS 174 POUND TITLE AT BOB SMITH/FORT HAYS OPEN Sophomore Shawn Hart claimed the title at 174 pounds on Saturday at the Fort Hays State/Bob Smith Open. Two other Bears had third place finishes on the day for Northern Colorado. Hart breezed the the championship, winning matches by scores of 4-0, 7-0 and 6-2 before pinning Chadron State's Willy Jones at 5:10 in the championship bout. Sophomore Tim Sexton claimed third place at 184 pounds while sophomore Reece Hopkin was third at 197. A pair of redshirts, Tony Mustari (4th at 125) and Kenny Hashimoto (2nd at 141) also competed well, wrestling unattached.
THREE BEARS WIN TITLES AT OLD CHICAGO/NORTHERN COLORADO OPEN Northern Colorado's Tony Mustari (125), Kenny Hashimoto (141) and Nathan Gerrard (157) each won individual titles on Nov. 19 at the Old Chicago/Northern Colorado Open held at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion. Hashimoto defeated several quality opponents on his way to the title at 141 pounds, and earned Most Outstanding Wrestler honors. He topped NAIA National runner-up Chris Smith in the finals by a 6-4 margin. On his way through the bracket, Hashimoto had a pair of fall victories and an 11-0 win over Anthony Elder of Western Wyoming.
Mustari topped No. 1 seed Talon Vickers of Utah Valley State by a 3-1 margin in the final at 125. At 157, Gerrard scored a 6-4 sudden victory over teammate Luke Salazar. Salazar had dominated his way through the bracket early in the day, winning 6-0, 9-2, 7-2 and by fall at 1:36. Sophomore Chase Walker defeated Noomis Jones 4-0 in the third place match at 157. Kyle Kaiser earned a fourth place finish at 133 as did Kyle LeValley at 149.
BEARS PLACE SIX AT COWBOY OPEN The University of Northern Colorado wrestling team started its season on Nov. 14 at the Wyoming Cowboy Open at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyo. The Bears had six place-winners, including three wrestlers that took first place in their divisions. Shawn Hart recorded three pins and one decision en route to snatching first place in the 174 pound open division. Hart notched a 4-0 open record. Chase Walker took first place in the open 157 pound division after recording a 7-6 decision over Oregon's Kyle Hartzel. Walker went 4-0 in the open. Tim Sexton claimed first in the 184 pound 20 and under division after going 2-0. Reece Hopkin went 3-1 and tallied two pins on his way to taking second place in the 197 pound open division. Sophomore Kenny Hashimoto placed third in the open 141 pound weight division. Hashimoto went 4-1 at the event and recorded two pins. Redshirt freshman Tito Rinaldis went 3-2 and recorded a fourth place finish in the 165 pound 20-and-under division. Unattached wrestlers with Northern Colorado ties also had success. Tony Mustari went 4-1 and took second in the 125 pound 20-and-under division in his first collegiate action. Senior Luke Salazar claimed third in the 157 pound open division after posting a 5-1 record.
BEARS HOST FIVE DUALS THIS SEASON The Bears will host five duals this season. The first dual will be at 7 p.m. on Feb. 2 against South Dakota State. Northern Colorado will also host North Dakota State (7 p.m. on Feb. 6), Cal State-Fullerton (2 p.m. on Feb. 11), Air Force (6 p.m. on Feb. 23) and Utah Valley State (8 p.m. on Feb. 23).
HEAD COACH Currently in his 19th year at Northern Colorado, head coach Jack Maughan will continue a new era as the Bears re-enter the Division I ranks after a more than 30-year absence. With the Bears competing as an Independent school, Maughan will hope to be instrumental in forming a new wrestling conference with neighboring rivals Wyoming and Air Force along with former North Central Conference rivals North Dakota State and South Dakota State. Maughan is 108-132-1 in his career.