Wrestling travels to face #4 Oklahoma State
Northern Colorado Notes
Northern Colorado faces its toughest challenge this season as it heads to #4/5 Oklahoma State for a dual on Friday night. The Cowboys are going for their 1,000th dual victory and have ranked wrestlers at nine of the 10 weight classes. The featured match-up of the evening will be at 149 pounds as No. 9 and No. 10 square off in OSU junior Jamal Parks and NC senior Justin Gaethje.
Scouting Oklahoma State
The Cowboys are currently ranked fifth in the NWCA Coaches poll and fourth by InterMat wrestling. Oklahoma State sports an overall record of 8-2-1 this season and they are 4-0 in Big 12 duals. Head Coach John Smith is in his 20th year as head coach with a record of 304-46-6. The Cowboys have the top-ranked wrestler in the nation at 133 pounds in sophomore Jordan Oliver (15-0). Senior Clayton Foster (197), freshman Jon Morrison (125) and junior Jamal Parks (149) are also both ranked in the top 10 according to InterMat at No. 3, No. 8 and No. 9, respectively. The two teams met in Greeley a season ago with Oklahoma State winning 41-3. The lone points for the Bears came at 149 pounds, where Justin Gonzales defeated Quinten Fuentes, 3-2. Oklahoma State leads 11-0-1 in the all-time series, including a 7-0 mark in Stillwater.
Last Time Out
The team split a pair of WWC matches over the weekend. The Bears defeated South Dakota State 26-21 on Friday before losing 25-12 to North Dakota State on Sunday. NC won five of the seven contested bouts on Friday for their first dual victory of the year. Junior Casey Cruz (141) and senior Justin Gaethje (149) each posted bonus point wins to get the Bears started with a 10-0 lead. Junior Brandon Kammerzell won his 16th bout of the year with a 12-4 major decision over John Netting. Eric Brennan's return to the lineup was a positive one as the 184 pounder improved to 7-6 on the year with a 6-0 decision over Joe Rasmussen. Freshman Nick Bayer also stayed perfect in conference duals with an 8-1 decision over Cord Willers. On Sunday, Bayer was the first to take the mat and he won a 12-5 decision over Drew Ross. Brennan, wrestling up almost 100 pounds at heavyweight, won a thrilling 8-7 decision over Will Johnson. Cruz, again wrestling at 133 pounds, won his 10th consecutive bout with a 5-0 decision over Justin Solberg, while No. 10 Gaethje also won by decision, posting an 11-5 win over Mark Erickson at 149 pounds.
On Cruz Control
Junior Casey Cruz is now on a 10-match winning streak after winning both bouts over the weekend. During the stretch, he has not allowed his opponent to score in six of the 10 matches and has yet to allow a point in Western Wrestling Conference action, winning 3-0 at UVU, 10-0 at SDSU and 5-0 at NDSU.
The NCAA released Thursday the first of three coaches' panel rankings for the 2010-11 wrestling season and Northern Colorado senior Justin Gaethje is ranked 11th at 149 pounds. The final rankings will be one of the tools used as part of the selection process to determine the qualifiers for the 2011 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. Gaethje is also ranked No. 9 by Amateur Wrestling News and No. 10 by InterMat this week.
Three Bears have actually recorded falls in less than a minute this season, but the fastest of the year belongs to freshman heavyweight Konner Knudtsen in 27 seconds in his very first bout as a collegiate athlete. Knudtsen pinned Kimball Jordan from CSU-Pueblo in the opening round of the Cowboy Open.