(Neb.)- CSC Grapplers Back On The Mat For New Year
CHADRON, Neb. -- Chadron State College wrestlers returned to action this week after a lengthier break than usual, and will send two separate parties into action for an open tournament and two duals.
The Eagles last competed on December 16, at the highly-regarded 40th Annual Midwest Classic in Indianapolis. There junior 133-pounder Brandon Kile took eighth-place honors.
The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference dual schedule hit full swing this week with a road trip to New Mexico and Colorado. CSC takes on New Mexico Highlands in Las Vegas, New Mexico, on Friday, January 4, at 6 p.m., before heading to Alamosa, Colorado on Saturday to square up with Adams State at 2 p.m. Both opponents open their dual schedules on Friday with Colorado School of Mines visiting ASU.
The conference dual standings will determine the league's championship this season, in place of the tournament conducted the past three years at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
Highlands, picked eighth of eight teams in the RMAC preseason coaches' poll, has entered three open tournaments so far this season, placing five individuals twice, and two most recently at the Bob Smith Open in Hays, Kansas, December 2.
Two Cowboys, 157-pounder Allen Michel and Chris Collins at 197, were placers at two of the three events, while eight others have placed in some fashion once. In November, Adrian George took sixth at 125 pounds in the competitive UNK Open, while heavyweight Julian Sanchez was a freshman bracket champion at the Oklahoma City University Open.
Adams State's ranking of fifth in the preseason poll was one higher than the Eagles.
The Grizzlies are led by senior 133-pounder Darek Huff, a two-time NCAA qualifier and 2017 All-America at 125 pounds. He is ranked fifth in NCAA Division II after making the finals of the Midwest Classic three weeks ago. Another placer in that tournament was Dylan Udero, an eighth place finisher at 141 pounds and also a returning national qualifier. Senior Koery Windham at 165 is the team's third returner from last year's NCAA tournament and was No. 11 in Division II entering the season.
Adams was tied for the 31st-ranked team in the latest national team rankings, while Chadron State fell from the rankings and New Mexico Highlands also received no points.
The Eagles are 2-2 in dual meets so far, splitting a pair of head-to-heads with Colorado Mines and San Francisco State in Golden, Colorado, to go 1-1 in league duals.
Another contingent of wrestlers will travel east to Hastings, to compete at the Hastings Cusatis Open. They are Joe Taylor, Brock Thumm, Caleb Haskell, Johnny Porter, Terry Winstead, Aspen Naylor, Mason Watt, Eli Hinojosa, and Alex Mai.
CSC Head Wrestling Coach Brett Hunter announced the addition this week of John Van Slooten, who will be eligible next season at 157 pounds. He is a three-time state champion in high school from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, who enrolled at CSC at the semester break after brief stops at Division II Notre Dame College in Ohio and the NAIA's Brewton-Parker College in Georgia.
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