Wrestling finally home after two months on the road
Northern Colorado Notes
It's Been A While
Northern Colorado returns to Butler-Hancock for the first time in two months, hosting Oregon State on Friday. The last time the Bears were at home was December 3 against then-#15 Nebraska and Friday marks just the third home dual of the year.
Scouting Oregon State
The Beavers are 8-5-2 on the season and have wrestled three other teams in the Western Wrestling Conference this season as well as two other teams the Bears have already competed against. Oregon State has wrestled Boise State three times this year, going 0-2-1 against the Broncos and they lost a close 17-16 decision at Nebraska. The Beavers have also defeated South Dakota State (45-3), Air Force (42-3) and Wyoming (20-15). Oregon State currently has four wrestlers ranked in the top 20 according to InterMat. At 133 pounds, junior Garrett Drucker is ranked 14th, while sophomore Mike Mangrum is 16th at 141 pounds, senior Colby Covington is 6th at 174 and junior Clayton Jack is 16th at heavyweight.
Last Time Out
Facing the number four team in the nation is a tough enough task, but wrestling them while they're attempting to win their 1,000th dual is what was laid in front of the Northern Colorado grapplers on Friday night as they lost 44-0 at Oklahoma State. Oklahoma State won all nine bouts competed and won seven with bonus points. The closest match of the evening was the second on the mat, the 149 pound bout between No. 7 Jamal Parks from Oklahoma State and No. 9 Justin Gaethje from Northern Colorado. Gaethje lost 3-2, snapping an eight-match winning streak.
On Cruz Control
Junior Casey Cruz has won 10 of his last 11 matches overall to improve to 17-7 on the season, including a 7-2 mark in dual meets. Cruz leads the team in both dual victories and overall wins this season and both of his dual losses have come to wrestlers ranked in the top 15 in the nation. Cruz also 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 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. 11 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.