Wrestling Prepares For Pair of Big 12 Opponents
Facing The Big 12
Northern Colorado hosts third-ranked Oklahoma State on Friday at noon and then travels to Lincoln for a dual at Nebraska on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Free T-Shirts are being handed out to the first 250 fans on Friday. A season ago, the Bears lost duals to both teams, losing 41-3 at then-#9 Oklahoma State and 39-3 at then-#3 Nebraska.
Both matches this weekend are available via internet streaming for small fees. On Friday against Oklahoma State the video is available on bigskytv.org, while huskers.com will carry the action from Sunday in Lincoln.
Last Time Out
Northern Colorado senior Kenny Hashimoto shook off his first loss in dual action from Sunday, defeating Northern Iowa's Charlie Ettelson 9-4 for the Bears only points on Thursday in Western Wrestling Conference action. The Bears (1-11, 0-3 WWC) fell 35-3 to perennial league power Northern Iowa (5-8, 1-0 WWC) and are still searching for their first league victory.
As announced Thursday by the NCAA, Northern Colorado has three wrestlers named in the first of three coaches' panel rankings for the 2009-10 wrestling season. Senior Tony Mustari, senior Kenny Hashimoto and junior Justin Gaethje are all ranked among the top 32 in their respective weights. The final rankings will be one of the tools used as part of the selection process to determine the qualifiers for the 2010 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. The Western Wrestling Conference has 19 wrestlers ranked in the first rankings.
First To 20
Junior Justin Gaethje (157) became the first Bear to 20 wins in the 2009-10 season with his fall against North Dakota State. Gaethje is 20-10 this season and now 52-25 in his career.
Oh So Close
Senior Tony Mustari (125) is now just two victories shy of appearing on the school's all-time career victories list. Mustari sits with 86 wins, while Lanny Paulson (1980-83) and Marty Vigil (1988-92) are tied for ninth on the chart with 88 wins.
Put Me In Coach
Rocco DePaolo did on Sunday against North Dakota State what not very many would do for his team. He wrestled up three weight classes, competing at 174 pounds though he registers just over 150 on the scale. DePaolo has wrestled at four different weights over the last five matches, competing at both 157 and 165 at the Stanford Duals and 149 against fifth-ranked Minnesota. For his efforts, DePaolo was recently featured on themat.com.
Honored - Twice
Both junior Justin Gaethje (157) and senior Kenny Hashimoto (141) have been named Western Wrestling Conference Wrestler of the Week this season. Hashimoto earned the award after his 4-0 performance at the Northeast Collegiate Duals, while Gaethje was honored after his wins against Ohio and fifth-ranked Minnesota.
The award for quickest pin so far this season goes to senior Justin Tuell (285) at just 15 seconds. Tuell recorded his fall over William Lewman from Western Wyoming in the second round of the Old Chicago's Open. Northern Colorado has recorded 26 falls so far this season with senior Tony Mustari (125) and sophomore Casey Cruz (133/141) tied for the team lead with four each. Senior Kenny Hashimoto (141) has a team-best 21 falls for his career with the Bears.
Oh Captain, My Captain
Seniors Kenny Hashimoto (141 pounds), Tony Mustari (125 pounds) and sophomore Casey Cruz (133 pounds) have been named team captains for the 2009-10 season.
Next On Tap
Northern Colorado returns to Western Wrestling Conference action after a one week break. The Bears host Air Force on Feb. 12 at 7:00 p.m. and South Dakota State on Feb. 14 at 2:00 p.m. Both matches will be at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion.