Men’s Wrestlers To Finish Dual Schedule On Western Slope

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Carter Hattery/CSC Sports Information

The Chadron State College wrestling team has two more duals on the schedule, and both are set to take place this week. Thursday the Eagles visit No. 14 Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, and Friday they take on No. 20 Western Colorado University in Gunnison. Both duals are scheduled to start at 6 p.m.

The Eagles still have an opportunity to clinch a share of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championship by winning both duals.

Mesa rosters three ranked wrestlers. They are redshirt freshman 125-pounder Dawson Collins, ranked fifth in NCAA Division II, junior 133-pounder Collin Metzgar, ranked seventh, and No. 8 Donnie Negus, a senior at 197 pounds.

Collins is the reigning RMAC Wrestler of the Week after defeating his No. 9-ranked opponent in a 5-2 decision. He has not lost in a dual this season.

Neither have the Mavericks dropped a dual to an RMAC opponent. They are 5-0 to begin the season in the conference rotation, and 10-2, losing only to No. 1 Central Oklahoma and No. 5 McKendree. Last week they defeated New Mexico Highlands and Adams State to take over the top record in the league. Mesa is looking for its second consecutive RMAC title.

Five in the Western Colorado lineup hold national rankings from one source or another. IntermatWrestle.com has 125-pounder Cody Fatzinger, a junior, ranked 13th, sophomore Patrick Allis ranked seventh at 133, freshman Dean Noble ranked 12th at 141, Jason Hanenburg, a junior, 15th at 149, and junior 165-pounder Hunter Mullin ranked seventh.

The Mountaineers have taken on a host of ranked dual opponents, Including a non-conference tilt with Mesa, No. 20 University of Mary, Central Oklahoma, No. 3 Nebraska-Kearney, and No. 21 Colorado Mines. All of the scores went in the opponents’ favor. Western is 5-7 overall in duals, with a loss to Division I Air Force Academy included in the tally, but is still alive for a share of the RMAC title at 3-1.

Mesa and Western are set to grapple again in Gunnison on February 16 in the season finale for both teams which will count in the league standings.

Chadron State is having its best dual success in several seasons, sitting at 5-3 overall and 4-1 in the RMAC rotation. Not since 2016-17 have the Eagles finished with a better record on either account. Coming off its first conference loss, CSC can still finish strong by knocking off both opponents for a two or three-way share of the championship, or it can hope for some help to win it outright.

The Eagles’ heavyweight, sophomore Mason Watt, remains the only ranked member of the team. He is 10th according to Intermat and 11th in the coaches’ poll. Last Sunday he had an opportunity to upset Colorado Mines’ fifth-ranked heavyweight Weston Hunt, briefly exposing the opponent’s back to the mat before a third-period takedown gave the Orediggers senior a 4-2 decision. Watt is now 7-2 on the season.

Three of the other Eagles in the starting lineup have a winning record. They are freshman Kobe Lepe (8-5) at 133 pounds, sophomore Ethan Leake (10-6) at 141, and freshman Darwin Hull (11-7) at 174.

The CSC squad will split for the weekend. The 10 who will wrestle duals on the Western Slope arrive home early Saturday morning, while 12 others will journey to Golden, Colorado, on Sunday, where they are entered in the Rocky Mountain Open meet.

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