No. 1 Lopers Win Close Dual In Kearney


Photo Courtesy/Noelle Meagher/CSC Sports Information

(Kaleb Center, CSC Sports Information)

The Chadron State College men’s wrestling team clashed with the No. 1-ranked Nebraska-Kearney Lopers at Kearney on Sunday. The Eagles scored the first 10 points of the dual against the defending NCAA champ, leading 13-7 halfway through the 10 matches. However in the heart of the Lopers’ lineup, four matches were decided for the Lopers by two points or fewer, and UNK escaped with a 24-13 win.

Sophomore Quade Smith started things off with an 8-0 major over a former three-time Kansas 4A state champ. He had a takedown in each period, an escape at the start of the second, and a riding time point.

Quentrevion Campbell, a junior transfer from North Iowa Area Community College, was next at 133. He scored six points in the first three minutes, and took down his opponent, a four-year former Huskers wrestler, to his back for a second-period pin.

The match tightened at 141, where CSC junior Ethan Leake faced No. 3-ranked Nick James, a returning All-America. Leake got down six points early but escaped to go into period two with a point. He chose the bottom position and turned that into a two-point reversal, but wasn’t able to score again in a 9-3 decision.

A major by UNK at 149 made it 10-7 Eagles, but CSC wasn’t done scoring.

Redshirt freshman Luke Goncalves had his hands full at 157 with the Lopers’ winningest true freshman in 2021-22, who returned with 20 career wins. Goncalves fell behind early on a pair of takedowns, and trailed 6-2 going into the third. He then parried a bottom start position into a reversal and four nearfall points for a come-from-behind 8-6 win to make the team score 13-7.

From there, UNK edged CSC in four of the final five matches by the closest of margins. Opponents included No. 2 Austin Eldredge at 174 pounds, No 1 Billy Higgins at 184, and No. 5 Hayden Prince at 197.

CSC senior Javen Palmer put up a strong showing at 165, allowing his opponent no offensive points and giving up a 2-0 decision to stalling points alone.

Redshirt freshman Keegan Gehlhausen went the distance with the top-ranked Higgins, nearly making the comeback complete with takedowns in the third period. Higgins, a fourth-year junior, hung on to win 10-8.

At 197, No. 5 Prince got an early takedown, but the rest of the match simply consisted of escapes as the defending Super Regional champ survived 3-2.

Finally, with the dual decided, the whole heavyweight match came down to riding time as senior Mason Watt fell 2-1.

“We wrestled great against an excellent team today,” said CSC Head Men’s Wrestling Coach Brett Hunter. “I’m very proud of our guys.”

CSC will be in Sterling, Colorado, this week to dual a pair of junior colleges, and then goes right back to Kearney on Saturday for the Younes Hospitality Open.

UNK 24, CSC 13
125: Quade Smith (CSC) MD Hector Serratos (8-0)
133: Quentrevion Campbell (CSC) pinned Jordan Kelber (4:17)
141: Nick James (UNK) Dec. Ethan Leake (9-3)
149: John Burger (UNK) MD Brandon Paredes (8-0)
157: Luke Goncalves (CSC) Dec. Tyler Collins (8-6)
165: Kaden Hart (UNK) Dec. Javen Palmer (2-0)
174: Austin Eldredge (UNK) TF Rowdy Pfeil (17-2 3:30)
184: Billy Higgins (UNK) Dec. Keegan Gehlhausen (10-8)
197: Hayden Prince (UNK) Dec. Eli Hinojosa (3-2)
285: Crew Howard (UNK) Dec. Mason Watt (2-1)