February 14, 2005

Northern Colorado Wrestlers to Grapple Twice on Friday against Utah Valley State & North Dakota State

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University of Northern Colorado Bears (4-6)

vs. Utah Valley State College Wolverines (3-10-1)

Dual #11 l  Friday, Feb. 18, 2005  l  6 pm (Mountain)

Greeley, Colo.  l  Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion (4,500)


University of Northern Colorado Bears (4-6)

vs. North Dakota State University Bison (7-3)

Dual #12 l  Friday, Feb. 18, 2005  l  8 pm (Mountain)

Greeley, Colo.  l  Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion (4,500)



The University of Northern Colorado wrestling team will get plenty of action this Friday as they host a pair of duals against Utah Valley State (6 p.m.) and North Dakota State (8 p.m.). Utah Valley State will also take on North Dakota State at 4 p.m. in Butler-Hancock to begin the wrestling action. Following the final match of the night, the Bears' wrestling team will hold an autograph session for all fans attending the match.



Wt.        Name                 Yr.  04-05 Record

125       Blayze Bahe       Fr.         12-12

133       Kyle Kaiser         So.         14-10

141       Kenny Hashimoto Fr.          16-3

149       Nathan Gerrard   Jr.          7-13

149       Dustin Uhland     So.           6-8

157       Mikell Surber       Jr.          9-10

165       John White       R-Fr.         9-14

174       Shawn Hart       R-Fr.         19-7

174       Caleb Van Vorst  Fr.          2-11

184       Cole Allison         Jr.         13-10

197       Tanner Linsacum Jr.           5-4

197       Tim Sexton          Fr.          7-10

HWT     Sam Safken        Fr.          6-11






This Friday's wrestling action will feature a pair of matchups that the Bears have already faced this season on the road. Northern Colorado scored a 27-12 win over Utah Valley State on Jan. 7, in Orem, Utah. North Dakota State scored a 31-3 win over the Bears on Jan. 22, in Fargo, N.D.



The University of Northern Colorado wrestling team recorded its first win over the Air Force Academy since the 1990-91 season when the Bears tallied a 26-15 win at the Cadet East Gym. The Bears went into the final three matches trailing by a count of 15-12, but UNC refused to give in. At 125 pounds, Blayze Bahe held on a for a 2-0 decision over the Falcons' Zachary Valdez to knot the dual at 15-15. All look lost when the Bears' Kyle Kaiser fell behind 12-0 heading into the third period. But Kaiser turned the tables on Air Force's Matt Benza by scoring a takedown and a pin with 1:14 left in the match. Kaiser's victory put the Bears on top 21-15. Freshman Kenny Hashimoto then continued his dominant play with a 20-3 technical fall at 141 pounds to cinch the victory for the Bears.



After Friday's home duals, Northern Colorado will finish the season at home on Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. against the University of Wyoming. The Cowboys' lineup features former UNC wrestler Dusty Hoffschneider at heavyweight.



Redshirt freshman Shawn Hart (174 lbs.) not only leads the team in victories with 19, the Loveland, Colo., native has also tallied a team-high nine pins this season. Freshman Kenny Hashimoto (141 lbs.) ranks second on the team with five pins to go along with his 15-3 overall record.



Freshman Kenny Hashimoto put together a perfect month of January for the Bears as he went 5-0 in dual matches. Hashimoto was also named the January Student-Athlete of the Month for UNC Athletics. Hashimoto is 16-3 overall this season and 8-1 in dual competition.



The Bears' wrestling squad gained a split in a pair of dual matches this past Saturday. Northern Colorado defeated South Dakota State, 31-12, then travelled to Fargo, N.D., and suffered a 31-3 loss to the North Dakota State Bison. Freshman Kenny Hashimoto was the only UNC wrestler to win both his matches on Saturday. Hashimoto is now 14-3 on the season.



The University of Northern Colorado wrestling squad tied for second place at the 2005 Colorado Collegiates on the strength of five second-place individual finishes. Air Force claimed the team title with 104.5 points. Northern Colorado and Adams State tied for second place with 73.0 points each. Western State finished fourth with 47.0 points. Colorado Mines finished in fifth place with 34.0 points. Portland State University and the University of Colorado Club Team also took part in the event but were not included in the team scoring. Freshman Blayze Bahe took second place in the 125-pound weight category after a 7-4 loss to Adams State's Rob McCabe. Junior Mikell Surber placed second in the 157-pound weight class after he lost a 6-3 decision to Adams State's Scott Cleve. Sophomore Shawn Hart placed second in the 174-pound weight class after he suffered a 10-4 loss to Western State's Matt Trout in the title match. Junior Cole Allison also took second-place honors in the 184-pound weight class after he was pinned at the 4:06 mark of the championship round against Air Force's Luke Lefever. Junior Tanner Linsacum suffered a 6-4 loss to Air Force's Brendan McLean in the 197-pound championship match. The Bears also tallied a pair of fourth-place finishes from redshirt freshman Richard Lohr (141 lbs.) and freshman Sam Safken (Heavyweight) to boost the squad in the team scoring category.



Sophomore 197-pounder Reece Hopkin placed second overall at the UNK Runza Lopern Open in Kearney, Neb., on Dec. 11. Hopkin went 2-1 at the tournament by recording wins over Dana College's Wade Jordan and Nebraska-Omaha's Ben Strandberg before falling to Nebraska-Kearney's Jeff Sylvester in the finals.



The University of Northern Colorado wrestling squad completed its action on day two at the 23rd annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational with a pair of losses in consolation matches. The Bears advanced both 174-pounder Shawn Hart and heavyweight Jason McMillan into day two's action the prestigious event. However, both Hart and McMillan each suffered a loss in the consolation bracket to end their turn in the tournament.



University of Northern Colorado's Shawn Hart was named the Outstanding Wrestler and Reece Hopkin took home the Most Pins title (three) at the 2004 Old Chicago Northern Colorado Open on Sunday in Butler-Hancock Hall. As a team, the Bears tallied four place-winners for members of the squad competing under the umbrella of Northern Colorado. Hart (1st - 174 lbs.), Mikell Surber (2nd - 157 lbs.), Cole Allison (2nd - 184 lbs.) and Andy Etzen (4th - 141 lbs.) all placed in the top four for the Bears. Hart earned Outstanding Wrestler honors based largely on two of his victories over top-notch competition. Hart won the championship match 9-4 over NCAA Div. II preseason No. 1-ranked Aaron Meister (Fort Hays State). Hart reached the finals by edging past Matt Trout (Western State), 4-2. Trout was a 2004 NCAA Div. II national qualifier. Several unattached wrestlers with UNC ties competed well in the tournament and they included: Blayze Bahe (1st - 125 lbs.), Kyle Swenson (1st - 133 lbs.), Kyle Kaiser (4th - 133 lbs.), Kenny Hashimoto (1st - 141 lbs.), Nathan Gerrard (4th - 149 lbs.) and Reece Hopkin (1st - 197 lbs.) Northern Colorado volunteer assistant coach Tony Schunke competed in the heavyweight division and captured the championship by winning all three matches.



The University of Northern Colorado wrestling team initiated its season on Sunday at the Wyoming Cowboy Open in Laramie, Wyo. The Bears helped set a tournament record with over 420 entrants. The Bears had five place-winners at the tournament. Kyle Kaiser went 4-0 to capture first place in the 133-pound under 20 division. Making his collegiate debut freshman Kenny Hashimoto placed 1st in the 141-pound under-20 division. Hashimoto went 5-0 in the tournament. Freshman Andy Etzen went 7-1 in the 141-pound under-20 division and placed third in the tourney. Alex Joseph tallied a 6-2 record and placed 4th in the 174-pound under-20 division. UNC's Shawn Hart placed third in the 174-pound over-20 division with a 5-1 record. UNC head coach Jack Maughan also cited the effort of his 197-pounders Cole Allison and Reece Hopkin, who each tallied 2-2 records but did not place.



The Northern Colorado Takedown Club has been established to help the UNC wrestling program, and the state of Colorado as a whole, return to the Division I wrestling scene. There has not been a NCAA Division I public institution with the wrestling since CSU dropped wrestling in 1985 (CU dropped the sport in 1980). To put the great state of Colorado back on the map in Division I wrestling, UNC needs the support of anyone who has ever stepped on a wrestling mat or sat in the stands under the shadows of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. All membership dues raised through the Takedown Club go back into the club itself to provide members with media guides, the Bear Hug Newsletter, posters, schedule cards, socials and other expenses. Financial support above the basic membership dues (Varsity, All-American, and National Champion Members) goes to defray programmatic expenses such as recruiting, equipment, assistant coaching salaries and travel. Get on board with the Bears as UNC makes its historic journey back into the Division I ranks. The Takedown Club will carry out its mission by: 1) Raising money through club memberships, special events and wrestling endowments; 2) Emphasizing the ideals of sportsmanship, leadership and teamwork; 3) Attending and supporting UNC Wrestling events at home and on the road; 4) Helping to promote UNC Wrestling (and the sport of wrestling in general) by educating the media and the general public on the excitement of the sport wrestling; 5) General support of the program as it moves back to Division I in 2006-2007. The cost to join the Northern Colorado Takedown Club is $30 for individuals and $50 for family, but wrestling donors are encouraged to donate to a higher level if they so choose ($100-249 Varsity Member; $250-$499 All-American Member; $500+ National Champion Member). For those members joining at the $100 and higher levels, they are automatically included in the Blue & Gold Club. For more info contact Director George Thompson at 970-351-1832.


Bears to Host 6 home duals

UNC will play host to six home duals this season but all will come after the first of the year. The Bears' home-opening dual will come against Oregon State on Jan. 14 at 3 p.m. The Bears will also play host to Portland State (Jan. 16, 2 pm), Fresno State (Jan. 29, 2 pm), Utah Valley State (Feb. 18, 6 pm), North Dakota State (Feb. 18, 8 pm) and Wyoming (Feb. 24, 7 pm).



This season marks the second year of the return to Division I wrestling for the Bears. UNC will have a full Division I schedule this season to meet the scheduling requirements of Division I wrestling.



The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Membership Subcommittee has approved a request by the University of Northern Colorado Athletic Department for reclassification of UNC's women's volleyball and men's wrestling to Division I status. The effect is that student-athletes in the two sports will be eligible for the Division I championships during the 2006-07 academic year. "We have been very confident that the volleyball and wrestling programs could compete in the NCAA Division I post-season in the very near future - this reclassification accelerates that opportunity," said Jay Hinrichs, UNC's director of athletics. NCAA legislation allows a member school to have one male and one female sport, excluding football and men's and women's basketball, classified in a division other than that in which it currently is a member. The UNC Bears are in the third year of a five-year, NCAA-mandated transition process from Division II to Division I.

 UNC head coaches Jack Maughan (wrestling) and Ron Alexander (volleyball) were both excited that their programs would have a chance to compete in the NCAA postseason earlier than they had planned. "We had hoped for all programs to get the transition period shortened," Maughan said. "So wrestling feels fortunate to be able to compete in championships as soon as possible. This will help the program be more competitive in Division I sooner."



Currently in his 18th year at UNC, head coach Jack Maughan will continue a new era as the Bears re-enter the Division I ranks after a more than 30-year absence. With the Bears competing as an Independent school, Maughan will hope to be instrumental in forming a new wrestling conference with neighboring rivals Wyoming and Air Force along with former North Central Conference rivals North Dakota State and South Dakota State. Maughan captured his 100th career win last season in the Bears' final home dual, a 26-11 win over Utah Valley State. Maughan and his wife, Brenda, were married in the offseason and had their first child, Henry Buck, on Jan. 25. The family lives in Windsor.