November 9, 2006

Wrestlers Ready For Season-Opening Cowboy Invite

Nov. 9, 2006

GREELEY, Colo. - The University of Northern Colorado wrestlers will open their 2006-07 season at the University of Wyoming Cowboy Invitational Saturday in Laramie.

Last season, three Bears won their respective divisions en route to a sixth-place team finish. Shawn Hart went 4-0 on his way to the 174 pound open title. Also with a 4-0 mark, Chase Walker claimed the 157 pound open title. Tim Sexton also won, finishing 2-0 in the 184 pound 20-and-under division.

Hart and Walker both return for the Bears this season, as does Reece Hopkin, who was 3-1 with two pinfalls on his way to a second-place finish in the 197 pound open division. Hopkin closed out last season ranked 20th nationally with a 27-6 record. This season, he has moved up to the heavyweight division and will come into Wyoming with a number 10 national ranking.

Other notable wrestlers for Northern Colorado include Tony Mustari and Kenny Hashimoto. Mustari redshirted last season but wrestled unattached for the Bears in the Cowboy Open, placing 2nd in the 125 pound 20-and-under division with a 4-1 record. A three-time state champion and two-time national champion in high school, Mustari is projected to be the team's top 125-pounder this season.

Hashimoto is returning to his post in the 141 pound class, where last year in Laramie he placed third with a 4-1 mark and two pins. Another third-placer finisher for the Bears was Luke Salazar, who was 5-1 wrestling at 157. As a redshirt senior this season, he'll return to that weight class for the Bears.

Following the tournament in Laramie, the Bears will return home to host the Old Chicago/Northern Colorado Open November 19 at 9 a.m. in the Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion.