Wrestling picks up big win at Arizona State
By PARKER COTTON
TEMPE, Ariz. – Same state, different day, different script.
A day after falling to Grand Canyon University in a fashion that head wrestling coach Ben Cherrington could only describe as disappointing, Northern Colorado rebounded in a big way to defeat Arizona State Saturday, 24-15.
"We had a great dual tonight," Cherrington said about the win against ASU. "They went out there, they believed in each other and they put together a solid team effort. And we won a dual that we weren't expected to win. That's what takes to you to the next level. As a coach, I'm as excited as I've ever been. Anytime you get a win like this, it's big for the program."
In what turned out to be a drama-filled and closely contested dual, the last two matches were what decided it. Arizona State led 16-15 heading into the 197-pound match, where Northern Colorado's Cole Briegel (Burlington) won by flagrant default following an illegal hit from ASU's Wesley Moore. The disqualification gave the Bears six team points and docked a point from the Sun Devils' total, making the score 21-15.
Heavyweight Henry Chirino (Brandon, Fla.) then capped the dual with a 2-1 decision against Chace Eskam for the final 24-15 margin.
"Briegel had an interesting match. The kid he was wrestling kind of lost his cool and ended up getting kicked out of the match, which obviously helped, but Cole was right there in the match when it happened," Cherrington said. "Henry then went out and did what Henry does. He wrestled solid, wrestled his match and took care of business."
Northern Colorado's Trey Andrews, wrestling about three hours away from his hometown of Safford, Ariz., got the Bears on the board first by recording a 4-3 decision over Ares Carpio at 125 pounds. This was Andrews' second win over Carpio this season after having beaten him via pin in two minutes, 42 seconds at the Southern Scuffle on Jan. 1. Andrews now has 16 wins this season.
Sonny Espinoza (Pueblo) and Nick Adams (Monument) lost decisions 133 and 141 pounds, respectively, but 149-pounder Beau Roberts (Boise) tied the dual for the Bears with a 4-0 shutout of Preston McCalmon.
"Sonny wrestled a very tough match — probably his best performance. Even though he didn't get the W, that was his the best performance he's had in a couple months," Cherrington said. "Roberts had a positive match. That's his first win since we were out in Bloomington, and he went out and handled the kid. He got the first takedown and controlled the match the rest of the time."
At 157 pounds, Mitchell Polkowske (LaJara) then picked up bonus points for the Bears with a pin of Joel Smith in 2:36, and Charlie McMartin (Boise) followed it with a 15-10 decision over James Brundage.
"Mitchell just put the guy on his back and pinned him, and that's what we need from our best guys. We need them to score bonus points like that," Cherrington said. "Charlie probably had the most exciting match of the night. His guy came out and took Charlie down twice and thought he was coasting, and Charlie came back and nailed him with a big double-leg takedown and stayed wrestling hard after that, in what ended up being a big, big win for us in the dual."
The Bears now return to Greeley to host their first home dual of 2014, a tilt with Cal Poly at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26.
Northern Colorado 24, Arizona State 15
125 – Trey Andrews (UNC) def. Ares Carpio (ASU), 4-3, 0-3
133 – Cordero Coronado (ASU) def. Sonny Espinoza (UNC) 6-4, 3-3
141 – Matthew Kraus (ASU) def. Nick Adams (UNC), 10-6, 6-3
149 – Beau Roberts (UNC) def. Preston McCalmon (ASU) 4-0, 6-6
157 – Mitchell Polkowske (UNC) falls Joel Smith (ASU), 2:36, 6-12
165 – Charlie McMartin (UNC) def. James Brundage (ASU), 15-10, 6-15
174 – Raymond Waters (ASU) falls Josh Van Tine (UNC), 2:31, 12-15
184 – Blake Stauffer (ASU) maj. dec. Nick Bayer (UNC), 10-1, 16-15
197 – Cole Briegel (UNC) def. Wesley Moore (ASU), DQ, 15-21- Flagrant default and one-point team penalty
285 – Henry Chirino (UNC) def. Chace Eskam (ASU), 2-1, 15-24