Complete Game Notes
The Bears have just three duals remaining before the NCAA West Regional on March 6 at South Dakota State. Luckily for the team, the final three are at home. Northern Colorado hosts Air Force on Friday, South Dakota State on Sunday and Utah Valley the following Wednesday to close out the regular season.
The remainder of the duals will be available via internet streaming on b2tv.com for a nominal fee. The video feed becomes live 10 minutes before the start of the match.
Last Time Out
Freshman transfer Kevin O'Brien picked up his first dual victory for the Blue & Gold with a 6-3 decision over Nebraska as the team lost a 37-9 dual in Lincoln. Against third-ranked Oklahoma State, freshman Justin Gonzales got the team's only win, a 3-2 victory over Quinten Fuentes from Johnstown as the Bears fell 41-3.
Scouting The Opponents
Air Force enters the match with an overall record of 5-8 and a 1-2 mark in Western Wrestling Conference action. Freshman Cole VonOhlen is the only ranked wrestler for the Falcons, coming in at 15th at 141 pounds. South Dakota State is 1-9-1 on the year with an 0-3 record in the WWC. They currently do not have any ranked wrestlers.
As announced 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 20-11 this season and now 52-26 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.
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 will honor the three seniors (Kenny Hashimoto, Tony Mustari, Justin Tuell) prior to the final dual of the season on Wednesday against Utah Valley. The match is set to begin at 7:00 p.m.