KEARNEY, Neb. – The Fort Hays State wrestling team upset two D2WCA Top 25 teams on their way to a 3-1 day at the Midwest Duals on Saturday (Jan. 13). The Tigers were defeated by #17 Western State Colorado University in the first match of the day. They went on to upset #7 Colorado State-Pueblo, defeating Chadron State and finishing the day upsetting #19 Maryville University.
#17 Western State Colorado University 25 • Fort Hays State 18
The Tigers began the day taking on the Mountaineers in the first dual of the event. WSCU opened the dual with a forfeit victory to take a 6-0 lead after the first bout. Dy’Juan Carney was next in the 133-pound weight class and pinned Colby Duncan in 1:06 within the first period to even the match at 6-6. Third-ranked Brandon Ball did not let Jody Sandoval II score a point in a 12-0 major decision victory in the 141-pound weight class to give the Tigers their first lead of the match, 12-6.
Efe Osaghae continued the Tigers run with a 7-5 decision over Justin Chenoweth in the 149-pound weight class, extending the Tiger lead to 15-6. Western State began to come back in this one after Shawn Beiriger defeated Tiger Brody Lewis with a 13-5 major decision in the 157-pound weight class. Marty Verhaeghe was defeated by Michael Thelen in the 165-pound weight class by way of an 8-2 decision, giving the Mountaineers some life cutting into the Tigers lead as the dual was 15-13 in favor of FHSU after six bouts.
Micquille Robinson (5-2) and Micah Felton (6-4) dropped their matches by decision giving the Mountaineers their first lead since the opening bout as they lead the Tigers 19-15 after eight matches. Rakim Dean fell to sixth-ranked Konnor Schmidt in 6:43 in the 197-pound weight class. Dakota Gulley then used a 17-0 technical fall victory over Samuel DeSeriere in the last bout of the dual.
Fort Hays State 28 • #7 Colorado State University-Pueblo 18
In the second dual of the day, the Tigers faced the ThunderWolves of CSU-Pueblo. Conrad Cole and Dy’Juan Carney pinned their opponents to give the Tigers a quick 12-0 lead over the ThunderWolves. Third-ranked Brandon Ball dropped his third match of the season in a 10-8 sudden victory for Clay Archer, giving the ThunderWolves points on the board as the Tiger lead was diminished to 12-3 after the first three bouts.
Efe Osaghae picked up a 5-3 decision over Gavin Melendez in the 149-pound weight class and Brody Lewis was pinned by ninth-ranked Kyle Fantin in 1:53 into the 157-pound weight class bout. The ThunderWolves picked up another fall over the Tigers as second-ranked JaCobi Jones pinned Marty Verhaeghe in the third period. CSU-Pueblo tied the Tigers 15-15 after six matches.
The Tigers used a 14-6 major decision from Micquille Robinson, a pin from Micah Felton in 2:46 and an 8-1 decision from Rakim Dean to give them the lead for good. Cody Johnson of CSU-Pueblo defeated Dakota Gulley in the 285-pound bout with an 8-6 decision.
Fort Hays State 27 • Chadron State 9
The Tigers took a 15-0 lead right out of the gates in their third dual of the day against the Elmo Eagles after four bouts. Conrad Cole pinned Marcus Hutcherson in the second period. Dy’Juan Carney defeated Chance Karst with an 11-9 decision in the 133-pound bout. Third-ranked Brandon Ball rebounded from his earlier loss with an 8-4 decision over Brock Thumm in the 141-pound bout and Efe Osaghae used a 5-1 decision over Caleb Haskell in the 149-pound bout. Chadron State was able to get on the board by winning the next three weight classes (157, 165 & 174) by decisions to cut the Tiger lead to 15-9 after seven matches.
Micah Felton used a 6-4 decision over Devin Stork in the 184-pound bout to extend the Tigers lead to 18-9. Rakim Dean won via forfeiture in the 197-pound weight class. Dakota Gulley wrapped up the dual in the 285-pound bout with a 3-1 decision over Alexander Mai.
Fort Hays State 29 • Maryville University 12
The Tigers began their fourth and final dual of the day with a bang as they won the first three matches over the Saints. Conrad Cole pinned Kolby Smith in 3:33. Dy’Juan Carney used a 15-11 decision over Taylor Jokerst in the 133-pound bout. In the 141-pound weight class, third-ranked Brandon Ball defeated Michael Cook with an 8-2 decision. The Tigers 12-0 lead was short-lived as the Saints took the next four bouts to tie the match up 12-12. Micah Felton defeated Mladen Vasilev with a 15-0 technical fall in the 184-pound bout to give the Tigers the lead for good. Rakim Dean pinned Dustin Politte in 2:53 and Dakota Gulley won via forfeiture in the 285-pound bout.
The Tigers are back in action next Friday (Jan. 19) as they host #12 Nebraska-Kearney for a home MIAA dual with the Lopers in Gross Memorial Coliseum. The dual is set to begin at 7 p.m.