Wrestling heads to Utah for a dual and a tournament
Back In Action
Northern Colorado returns to the mats this weekend, competing twice at Utah Valley over the weekend. The Bears will begin Western Wrestling Conference action with a dual at 7:00 pm on Friday and then will stay in Orem, Utah for the Utah Valley Open on Saturday. This is the first competition for the Blue & Gold since the Reno Tournament of Champions on Dec. 19.
Senior Justin Gaethje competed for the first time this year at the Reno Tournament of Champions and picked up right where he left off last season. Gaethje, wrestling this year at 149 pounds, finished third at the prestigious tournament posting a record of 5-1, losing only to then-#2 Jason Chamberlain of Boise State. For his efforts, Gaethje is currently ranked #13 in the Intermat poll.
Junior Brandon Kammerzell became the first Bear this year to hit double digits in victories and he enters this weekend with an 11-6 mark, including a 1-1 dual record. Kammerzell dropped to 165 pounds for his third season, though he did wrestle at 174 in the dual against Nebraska. Kammerzell's 11 wins already ties his output from last year and is just four wins shy of his freshman total of 15.
Scouting Utah Valley
The Wolverines have yet to compete in a dual meet this season. Both Northern Colorado and Utah Valley were at the Cowboy Open and the teams split a pair of bouts. Utah Valley finished 21st at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational and 17th at the Southern Scuffle last weekend. The Wolverines had three NCAA qualifiers last year and all three return in 2010-11 in Ben Kjar (125), Flint Ray (133) and Brad Darrington (174).
History vs Wolverines
A season ago, the Bears dropped the final dual of the year to Utah Valley, 25-10. The Bears hold the slight 6-4 edge in the all-time series between the two teams though Utah Valley has won the last two duals. Senior Justin Gaethje is the only Bear who returns from last season's lineup that posted a win over the Wolverines, as he won a major decision, 12-0 against Jamision Moss at 157 pounds. Justin Gonzales and Brandon Kammerzell also wrestled a season ago, both losing decisions at 149 and 174 pounds, respectively.
Last Time Out
Northern Colorado finished in 17th place with 33 points at the Reno Tournament of Champions. Justin Gaethje had three pins and won his other two bouts by decision to finish third with a 5-1 record. Jacob Milewski also won his first two matches at 149 pounds before losing 5-0 in the quarterfinals to Ohio's Brad Squire and finished the day with a record of 2-2. Three other Bears posted records of 2-2 at the annual tournament, with freshman Sam Bauer (125), junior Brandon Kammerzell (165) and senior Eric Brennan (184) all winning a pair of bouts.
Bears Ink Five
Second-year head coach Ben Cherrington announced the signing of five student-athletes to National Letters of Intent.
NICK ADAMS, 5-9, 149, MONUMENT, COLO. (DISCOVERY CANYON CAMPUS)
Has earned a total of nine varsity letters with four in wrestling, three in football and two in track & field. As a freshmen he advanced to the state championship at 112 pounds, then in his sophomore year, finished third at 125 pounds... He won the state title at 3A as a junior after posting a perfect 44-0 record, as well as helped the football team to a league championship.
TRAVIS HIMMELMAN, 5-11, 149, EVERGREEN, COLO. (CONIFER)
Is a two-time state champion for the Lobos with a 132-7 record entering his senior season... Is a three-time high school All-American as well as a three-time all-conference and a two-time all-state selection... Also is a two-time Fargo All-American in Greco Roman... Is also an honor roll selection.
CODY KNIGHT, 5-9, 149, BISHOP, GA. (OCONEE COUNTY)
Is a three-time all region selection... Finished sixth at the state championship as a freshman and third in each of the last two years... Enters his senior campaign with a 162-18 overall record... Is a three-time honor roll student and a National Beta Club member.
JESSE MEIS, 5-4, 133, ALAMOSA, COLO. (ALAMOSA)
Is a two-time high school All-American as well as a two-time All-Colorado selection and has qualified for state all three years... Is also a National Honor Society member... Tallied a 144-24 overall record... Earned four varsity letters in football, four in wrestling, three in golf and one in track & field. Graduated from high school in 2008.
GARRETT VASQUEZ, 5-6, 149, LOVELAND, COLO. (LOVELAND)
Is a three-time all-conference selection and finished third at the state championship a year ago... Enters his senior season with a record of 103-23... As well as being a high school All-American on the mat, he was also named to the All-State academic team in 2010... Helped the Indians finish fourth at the state meet in 2009 and third in 2010... Named a Fargo All-American.