Bears Send Five Wrestlers to NCAA Championships
March 3, 2007
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - In its first year of postseason eligibility, the University of Northern Colorado wrestling program wasted no time in making a splash. Three wrestlers won their respective classes in the NCAA West Regional on Saturday, locking up automatic bids for the 2007 NCAA Championships, while two more were named as qualifiers
Kenny Hashimoto, Shawn Vincent and Reece Hopkin swept their respective divisions at the McLeod Center on the University of Northern Iowa campus, and each will now represent Northern Colorado at the NCAA Championships, which start March 15 in Auburn Hills, Michigan. In addition, Luke Salazar and Tony Mustari also received wild card invitations for their performances.
Hashimoto, ranked 13th nationally and owner of the No. 1 seed in the 141 weight class on Saturday, earned a pair of pins in his three matches, winning easily.
In his first match, Hashimoto pinned Wyoming's Garret Desmond in 5:30. He followed that with a 5-2 decision over Air Force's Jacob Kriegbaum in the semi-finals. Hashimoto earned his berth in the national tournament with his second fall of the day, taking down No. 2 seed C.J. Ettelson of Northern Iowa in 6:30.
Hashimoto was named Co-Most Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament, sharing the honor with UNI's Nick Baima
Vincent became the only wrestler not seeded No. 1 to win his division, taking the 184 crown with an 11-3 decision over top-seeded Greg Prez of Eastern Illinois. Prior to that, Vincent opened his afternoon with a pin of South Dakota State's Levi Krehmeyer in 3:44 and followed with a 3-2 decision over Air Force's Jacob Devlin in his semi-final.
Hopkin opened his run in the heavyweight class with a 16-3 major decision over Wyoming's Jason Still. That win was followed by his 6-2 decision over Northern Iowa's Tyler Rhoads. In the final, he defeated South Dakota State's Jason Stripling, 9-6.
Mustari opened his day at 125 with a 16-0 technical fall over EIU's A.J. Ciccarelli, before falling in a 3-2 decision to Eric Hoffman of North Dakota State. He rallied to defeat Marcus Waters of South Dakota State, with a pin in 2:52, before grabbing third in his division with a 1-0 decision over Air Force's Zach Valdez.
Salazar also earned an invite after his third-place finish at 157. In his first match, he defeated Air Force's Zach Lord 10-6 before losing to top-seed Moza Fey of UNI, in a 21-6 tech. fall. He rebounded with a 12-3 victory over Eastern Illinois' Kile O'Toole before beating Lord again in the third-place match, 13-8.
As a team, the Bears finished second in the seven-team event.
True Second-Place Matches
125 - Mustari (UNC) dec. Ramirez (WYO), 7-5
141 - Ettelson (UNI) dec. Desmond (WYO), 10-4
149 - Adams (NDSU) pinned Osgood (UNI), 5:55
157 - Salazar (UNC) dec. Everson (SDSU), 9-4
174 - Dolly (UNI) dec. Althoff (SDSU), 1-0
285 - Rhoes (UNI) dec. Stripling (SDSU), 3-1