By Kaleb Center CSC Sports Information Director
Despite drawing three straight ranked opponents, and three of the top four seeds in the 141-pound weight class, Chadron State College sophomore Ethan Leake restored the Eagles’ NCAA qualifying tradition, finishing as runner-up at the 2022 NCAA D2 Super Region 6 Championships in Grand Junction.
“I’m very proud of Ethan, and all the guys, for putting it out there today in the regional,” said CSC Head Men’s Wrestling Coach Brett Hunter. “This is one of the toughest regions out there. Nearly all of our guys went up against one of the nation’s best. Some did more than once, and we won some big matches today.”
By finishing among the top three in his weight class, Leake earns a bid to the national championships at St. Louis, Missouri, beginning March 11.
Leake drew a preliminary round bye, but went straight into his first match of the day taking on No. 4 seed and 13th-ranked Dean Noble of Western Colorado. Noble bested Leake 7-5 when the two met in a dual, earlier this month, however Leake secured a semifinal appearance with a 5-3 decision.
Next, the sophomore Division I transfer faced the top seed in his bracket, No. 7 Joshua Fuentes Norikiyo of San Francisco State. Again, Leake avenged an earlier dual loss, by a 10-1 major, outfoxing his opponent 7-4.
Assured of an NCAA Championships, bid, Leake entered his final match against another former dual opponent, three-seeded and No. 12 Nick James of Nebraska-Kearney. Leake would have repaid a third consecutive debt, after falling 8-7 in their December 11 faceoff. However, the run ended there, with James getting a takedown and four nearfall points, headed into the second period, then reversing Leake before pinning him at 3:56.
At 197 pounds, sophomore Eli Hinojosa faced a tough opening draw in two-seed No. 8 Hayden Prince of Nebraska-Kearney, but fought threw consolations to give himself a chance of his own in the 3rd Place Match.
Along the way he pinned No. 13 Hunter Tobiasson to make the consolation final.
In his qualifying match, Hinojosa scored the first takedown against Tereus Henry of Fort Hays State, but gave up an escape and a buzzer beating takedown to Henry to enter the second down 3-2. Henry stayed in top position the entire second position to establish a hefty riding time advantage, then it took a quick escape and another takedown in the third to put the match away.
Both freshman Quade Smith, at 125 pounds, and sophomore Mason Watt, at 285, went 3-2, making the consolation semis where they face the top-seeded wrestlers in their respective brackets. For Smith it was No. 6 Dawson Collins of Colorado Mesa, who pinned Smith late in the second period. Watt also lost by fall, albeit in the third period, to No. 9 Weston Hunt of Colorado School of Mines. Both CSC wrestlers won their 5th Place Match.
Chadron State was seventh in the points standings, out of 11 regional teams, tallying 48 points.
Nebraska-Kearney took the team title with 175.5 points.
No. 9 Josh Portillo (Neb.-Kearney) 18-5 TF Quade Smith (CSC) 10-9 (5:58, (20-3))
Quade Smith (CSC) 10-9 MFF Naythan Galbiso (N. M. Highlands) 11-15
Quade Smith (CSC) 10-9 MD Broderick Green (Fort Hays St.) 17-17 (MD 8-0)
No. 6 Dawson Collins (Colorado Mesa) 22-3 pinned Quade Smith (CSC) 10-9 (Fall 4:40)
Quade Smith (CSC) 10-9 dec. Christian Lopez (Colo. Sch. of Mines) 14-12 (Dec 3-2)
No. 3 Wesley Dawkins (Neb.-Kearney) 12-1 pinned Kobe Lepe (CSC) 8-9 (Fall 1:29)
Tyler Krause (Colo. Sch. of Mines) 10-8 dec. Kobe Lepe (CSC) 8-9 (Dec 2-1)
Ethan Leake (CSC) 13-8 dec. No. 13 Dean Noble (Western Colo.) 19-11 (Dec 5-3)
Ethan Leake (CSC) 13-8 dec. No. 7 Joshua Fuentes Norikiyo (San Francisco St.) 19-8 (Dec 7-4)
No. 12 Nick James (Neb.-Kearney) 19-8 pinned Ethan Leake (CSC) 13-8 (Fall 3:56)
No. 11 Jason Hanenberg (Western Colo.) 23-5 dec. Brody Lamb (CSC) 1-3 (Dec 6-2)
Cody Thompson (Colo. Sch. of Mines) 12-10 pinned Brody Lamb (CSC) 1-3 (Fall 4:36)
Brent Hodgson (Simon Fraser ) 9-11 dec. Dean Neff (CSC) 5-10 (Dec 11-4)
Jacob Wasser (Neb.-Kearney) 8-8 TF Dean Neff (CSC) 5-10 (4:39, (16-0))
Ruben Garcia (CSU Pueblo) 4-1 dec. Preston Renner (CSC) 7-10 (Dec 7-2)
Jackson Damenti (Colo. Sch. of Mines) 10-9 dec. Preston Renner (CSC) 7-10 (Dec 3-2)
Ryan Fidel (Colo. Sch. of Mines) 10-10 pinned Darwin Hull (CSC) 11-11 (Fall 2:44)
Cody Lewis (Adams St.) 11-15 pinned Darwin Hull (CSC) 11-11 (Fall 2:08)
No. 8 Hayden Prince (Neb.-Kearney) 19-8 dec. Eli Hinojosa (CSC) 10-10 (Dec 10-4)
Eli Hinojosa (CSC) 10-10 pinned Luke Allan (N. M. Highlands) 6-14 (Fall 3:55)
Eli Hinojosa (CSC) 10-10 dec. Ben Gould (CSU Pueblo) 1-2 (Dec 5-3)
No. Eli Hinojosa (CSC) 10-10 pinned No. 13 Hunter Tobiasson (Adams St.) 16-11 (Fall 4:26)
Tereus Henry (Fort Hays St.) 27-10 dec. Eli Hinojosa (CSC) 10-10 (Dec 7-3)
Mason Watt (CSC) 11-4 pinned Aiden Butler (Adams St.) 3-10 (Fall 1:05)
Mason Watt (CSC) 11-4 dec. Kash Anderson (Colorado Mesa) 13-11 (Dec 9-5)
No. 8 Lee Herrington (Neb.-Kearney) 20-8 dec. Mason Watt (CSC) 11-4 (Dec 6-1)
No. 9 Weston Hunt (Colo. Sch. of Mines) 19-2 pinned Mason Watt (CSC) 11-4 (Fall 5:21)
Mason Watt (CSC) 11-4 pinned Sammy Deseriere (Western Colo.) 17-12 (Fall 4:01)