Top-ranked UCO advances to National Duals semifinals

UCO Athletics
Mike Kirk

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Top-ranked Central Oklahoma marched into the semifinals of the NWCA Division II National Duals with a pair of lopsided wins Thursday at the Kentucky International Convention Center, but head coach Todd Steidley was far from satisfied.

“We’re going to have to wrestle a lot better than that,” Steidley said after the Bronchos disposed of No. 9 Findlay 39-9 in the first round and No. 15 Colorado Mesa 31-6 in the quarterfinals. “It wasn’t very pretty, especially against Mesa, but we’re moving on and that’s the good thing.”

UCO had no trouble advancing to Friday’s semifinals, claiming 15 of 20 individual matches with 10 bonus wins. The Bronchos improved to 5-0 on the season and have now won 11 straight duals.

Central will take on unranked Newberry at 10 a.m. (Oklahoma time) Friday, then will wrestle for first or third at 2 p.m. The Wolves pulled off two upsets Thursday, knocking off No. 3 McKendree (24-16) and No. 14 Upper Iowa (25-18).

“Newberry is coming off two big wins and they’re going to be ready for us,” Steidley said.  “We need to come back tomorrow more focused, but I’m confident our guys will do just that.”

The Bronchos earned bonus points in all seven of their wins against Findlay, highlighted by falls from 125 Paxton Rosen, 133 Tanner Cole, 149 Brik Filippo, 165 Hunter Jump and 197 Dalton Abney. Ty Lucas added a technical fall at 157 and Heath Gray a major decision at 184.

Cole, Jump and Abney led UCO’s pin parade, needing just over four combined minutes to end their matches. Abney took just 40 seconds to notch his fall, while Cole required 1:10 and Jump – making his varsity debut – 2:17.

Rosen  piled up a 13-2 lead before getting his fall at the 4:36 mark and Filippo turned a late-match takedown into a pin just ahead of the final buzzer at 6:57.

The third-ranked Lucas was scheduled to meet No. 1 James Wimer in an anticipated showdown, but Findlay put out a back-up instead and Lucas cruised to a 16-1 technical fall.

Gray, making his return to the mat after a nearly two-month absence, had three takedowns and two near-falls in an easy 13-2 rout.

Fourth-rated Nate Keim dropped a 7-3 decision to No. 2 Branson Proudlock at 141 and regular 165-pounder Anthony DesVigne lost 5-4 on riding time after bumping up to 174.

UCO got technical falls from Keim and Lucas while winning four matches by three points or less against Mesa, including Tanner Cole’s 3-1 victory at 133 pounds in a showdown of No. 1 vs. No. 2.

Mesa pulled off an upset in the opening match at 125 to grab a 3-0 lead, but the Bronchos answered with five straight wins – highlighted by the two technical falls – to surge in front 19-3 and effectively secure the dual.

The top-rated Cole started that run with his tough triumph over No. 2 Collin Metzger. Cole’s first-period takedown was the difference as the two traded escapes in the final two stanzas, with Cole barely staving off Metzger’s tying takedown try in the final seconds.

Keim used four takedowns and a pair of four-point near-falls to put Central in front to stay with a 17-1 romp and Filippo followed with a tight 4-2 win.

Lucas then needed less than a full period to secure his second technical fall of the day, racking up two takedowns and three near-falls in a 16-1 shelling. Jump prevailed 7-4 at 165 on a clinching takedown with 19 seconds left before the Mavericks won their second and final match at 174.

Gray had four takedowns in extending his winning streak to 45 with a methodical 10-3 victory at 184 and Abney prevailed 2-1 at 197 on the strength of a first-period takedown before Mesa forfeited the final match at heavyweight.

UCO 39, Findlay 9

125 – Paxton Rosen, UCO, pinned Nicholas Korhorn, 4:36.
133 – Tanner Cole, UCO, pinned Ashton Anderson, 1:10.
141 – Branson Proudlock, UF, dec. Nate Keim, 7-3.
149 – Brik Filippo, UCO, pinned Chase Moore, 6:57.
157 – Ty Lucas, UCO, tech. fall Chase Moore, 16-1 (3:15).
165 – Hunter Jump, UCO, pinned Justin West, 2:17.
174 – Hunter Reed, UF, dec. Anthony DesVigne, 5-4.
184 – Heath Gray, UCO, major dec. Mark Trifelos, 13-2.
197 – Dalton Abney, UCO, pinned Jacob Charette, 0:40.
Hvy – Keigan Yuhas, UF, dec. Braden Morgan, 5-0.

UCO 31, Colorado Mesa 6

125 – Cian Apple, Mesa, dec. Paxton Rosen, 8-4.
133 – Tanner Cole, UCO, dec. Collin Metzger, 3-1.
141 – Nate Keim, UCO, tech. fall Erik Contreras, 17-1.
149 – Brik Filippo, UCO, dec. Nick Gallegos, 4-2.
157 – Ty Lucas, UCO, tech. fall Ariel Rodriguez, 16-1.
165 – Hunter Jump, UCO, dec. Alexander Holguin, 7-4.
174 – Seth Latham, Mesa, dec. Anthony DesVigne, 7-4.
184 – Heath Gray, UCO, dec. Jason Bynarowicz, 10-3.
197 – Dalton Abney, UCO, dec. Donald Negus, 2-1.
Hvy – Christian Arriola, UCO, won by forfeit.

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