KEARNEY, Neb. – Three Chadron State College wrestlers claimed runner-up finishes and one more earned fourth place at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference/West Regional Championship on Saturday in Kearney.
By placing among the top four, Jimmy Savala, Brett Hunter, Josh Majerus and Devlon Webb punched their tickets to the NCAA Division II National Championship March 13-14 in Houston, Texas. The same four CSC grapplers also qualified for the national tourney last year.
Thanks to three champions and three runners-up, Western State scored 121.5 points to win its first RMAC championship since 1997. Adams State finished a close second with 114 points and Nebraska-Kearney, which had the RMAC title the past seven years, finished third with 104.
Savala, the eighth-ranked wrestler at 141 pounds, outlasted New Mexico Highlands’ Tyler Davy with a 15-13 decision to open the tourney before upsetting fourth-ranked James Annon of Fort Hays State in the semifinals, 3-2. However, No. 1 rated Raymond Dunning of Adams State, proved his ranking is no fluke by pinning Savala in the second period to claim the 141 championship.
At 174 pounds, fourth-ranked Brett Hunter cruised to the championship round. He pinned Grand Canyon’s Daniel Garay in the third period and decisioned Jesse Feinsod of New Mexico Highlands 9-3 in the semis to set up a showdown with third-ranked Marty Usman of Nebraska-Kearney. It was the third meeting of the two wrestlers this season and Usman came out on top again, earning an 8-3 decision.
Majerus, the defending national champion at 197, also ran into a familiar foe in the championship, Western State’s Donovan McMahill, who won by an 8-4 decision. Majerus had no problem getting to the finals. He defeated San Francisco State’s Vincent Bordi by a 12-0 major decision in the first round and followed that by avenging a regular season loss to UNK’s Matt Ferrell in the semis, 10-5.
Webb, a returning All-American at 125, qualified for nationals the hard way. He lost his first round match to Fort Hays State’s Tommy Edgmon, 6-2, but went on a tear in the wrestle backs, winning his next two. Webb claimed a 9-3 decision over Colorado Mines’ Pablo Mascarenas and a 4-3 decision over Western State’s Eddie Lopez to secure a spot in the third place match. In the third place match, Edgmon defeated Webb, 2-0.
The Eagles’ Ty Brown was close to qualifying for nationals, but the redshirt freshman from Crawford fell just short by finishing fifth at 184.
Brown lost his first round match to eventual runner-up Larry Wilbanks of Western State, but he won his next two in convincing fashion, including a 6-2 upset of UNK’s top-seeded Paul Sutton. However, San Francisco State’s Marquis Gales defeated Brown 5-2 to end his chances for qualifying for nationals. Brown responded in his final match, though, and pinned Ryan Becerra of Grand Canyon to finish in fifth.
1, Western State, 121.5; 2, Adams State, 114; 3, University of Nebraska-Kearney, 104; 4, Fort Hays State, 79.5; 5, San Francisco State, 78; 6, Chadron State, 62.5; 7, Mesa State, 54.5; 8, New Mexico Highlands, 51; 9, Colorado School of Mines, 42; 10, Colorado State University-Pueblo, 26.5; 11, Grand Canyon University, 23.
125 – Tommy Edgmon, Fort Hays State, dec. Devlon Webb, CSC, 6-2. Webb, dec. Pablo Mascarena, Colorado Mines, 9-3. Webb, dec. Eddie Lopez, Western State, 4-3. Edgmon, Fort Hays State, dec. Webb, 2-0 (for third place).
133 – Rhett Breed, Mesa State, dec. Ryan Zavala, CSC, 4-2. Zavala, dec. Donavan Troup, New Mexico Highlands, 7-4. Joey Morrison, Nebraska-Kearney, pinned Zavala, 1:25.
141 – Jimmy Savala, CSC, dec. Tyler Davy, New Mexico Highlands, 15-13. Savala, dec. James Annon, Fort Hays State, 3-2. Raymond Dunning, Adams State, pinned Savala, 3:14 (for championship).
149 – Christopher Freije, Western State, pinned Jake Lords, CSC, 1:38. Louie DeSantis, CSU-Pueblo, pinned Lords, 2:47.
157 – Danny Grater, Fort Hays State, pinned Phil Bullington, CSC, 3:33. Kyle Francis, Western State, major dec. Bullington, 10-1.
165 – Cole Johnson, Mesa State, major dec. Bryan Irwin, CSC, 9-0. Zach Sesar, San Francisco State, dec. Irwin, 6-1.
174 – Brett Hunter, CSC, pinned Daniel Garay, Grand Canyon, 6:23. Hunter, dec. Jesse Feinsod, New Mexico Highlands, 9-3. Marty Usman, Nebraska-Kearney, dec. Hunter, 8-3 (for championship).
184 – Larry Wilbanks, Western State, major dec. Ty Brown, CSC, 8-0. Brown pinned Bradley Price, Colorado Mines, 1:57. Brown, dec. Paul Sutton, Nebraska-Kearney, 6-2. Marques Gales, San Francisco State, dec. Brown, 5-2. Brown, pinned Ryan Becerra, Grand Canyon, 5:38 (for fifth place). Tyler Gonzales, Fort Hays State, dec. Brown, 9-6 (true fourth place match).
197 – Josh Majerus, CSC, major dec. Vincent Bordi, San Francisco State, 12-0. Majerus, dec. Matt Farrell, Nebraska-Kearney, 10-5. Donovan McMahill, Western State, dec. Majerus, 8-4 (for championship).
285 – Justin Glenn, Fort Hays State, dec. Shaine Odell, CSC, 3-1. Jesse Boggs, New Mexico Highlands, dec. Odell, 10-3.
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