Five CSC Wrestlers Ranked Nationally


Photo Courtesy/Noelle Meagher/CSC Sports Information

 With two new national polls released this week, five Chadron State College wrestlers received new rankings from The Open Mat and the National Wrestling Coaches Association.

The wrestling media outlet known as The Open Mat ranked five Chadron State College wrestlers among its top 20, at their respective weight classes, in its first weekly rankings on Thursday, while the NWCA had two in its top eight.

Sophomore Quade Smith, junior Quen Campbell, and seniors Ethan LeakeEli Hinojosa, and Mason Watt were ranked by the organizations.

Smith, at 125 pounds, is 8-2 on the season. The Open Mat has him as No. 13 on its list. The NWCA ranks him No. 8, after defeating No. 12 Patrick Allis of Western Colorado, formerly ranked No. 9, by a 4-0 margin in the third place match at the Younes Hospitality Open in Kearney. Smith’s only losses were to Weston DiBlasi of Colorado Mines, whom The Open Mat has ranked No. 16, in sudden victory, and to NJCAA No. 5 Jeff Strickenberger.

Campbell, with a 6-1 start to the season, also received a pair of national rankings. The Open Mat placed him at No. 7 in its initial rankings, while the NWCA slotted him into eighth. Campbell recently defeated the preseason No. 1 Reece Barnhardt of Mary, in the semifinals at Kearney, before taking his only loss of the season to undefeated Kyle Burwick of Nebraska. Along the way he also picked up wins over No. 18 Jordan Kelber of Nebraska-Kearney, and NAIA No. 5 Alex Pena of Wayland Baptist.

Three others debuted solely in The Open Mat’s rankings.

Leake’s No. 12 ranking comes on the heels of his sudden victory win at Kearney over No. 13 Grayston DiBlasi of Colorado School of Mines. At 141 pounds, he is 6-2 with his only losses coming to ranked opponents.

Hinojosa checks in at No. 15 at 197 pounds. He only has one match so far this season, due to injury, but it was a narrow 3-2 loss to No. 7 Hayden Prince.

Finally, Watt’s 3-2 record was good enough for a No. 18 ranking at 285 pounds. He stumbled twice against a Kearney opponent on his home mat, but has three wins over Division II opponents, including two pins.

The NWCA placed CSC No. 28 in its national team rankings.