WSC Mountaineer Wrestlers Claim Second Straight RMAC Title
Mar. 2, 2010 -- Donovan McMahill and Charlie Alexander successfully defended their conference and regional titles and Charlie Pipher won the individual title at 184 by fall as No. 11 Western State claimed its second straight RMAC and NCAA Division II Super Region Four title today at Adams State.
The Mountaineers qualified seven wrestlers for the national championships in two weeks.
Nine of the 10 Western State wrestlers placed in the top six, a feat matched only by Fort Hays State. The Mountaineers were the only team in the region to win three weight classes.
Qualifying for the national tournament were champions Alexander (285), McMahill (197) and Pipher (184). Advancing off a third-place finish was Zach Frazier (174) while Kyle Francis (157), Jesse Cruz (141) and Kyle O'Brien (125) each placed fourth.
Receiving a bye in the first round, Alexander opened the tournament with a pin against eighth-seeded Bryan Stansbury of Colorado School of Mines in five minutes and 35 seconds. He avenged an earlier loss this season against Colorado State-Pueblo's Patrick Carey to advance to the championship match against Steve Franklin, the No. 8 wrestler in the nation from San Francisco State.
Alexander jumped out to an early 5-0 lead off a takedown and three near-fall points in taking his second regional heavyweight title 6-2.
McMahill also opened with a fall in the third period against Chadron State's Duke Eardley to start the 197 bracket. He posted a 12-6 decision against Shane Miller of Mesa State and used a 5-3 decision against Nebraska-Kearney's Justin McKain to reach the final.
Facing Vince Bordi of San Francisco State, who defeated Adams State's Kyle Sand 6-4 in the semifinals, McMahill defended his 197 pound title with an 8-2 victory.
Pipher, who was making his first appearance in more than three weeks after suffering a knee injury earlier this month, picked up a second-period fall against New Mexico Highland's Adam Pacheco in the first round. Pipher added a 18-7 major decision against Mesa State's Matthew Chavez and reached the finals on a 6-2 victory against fourth-seeded Derek Ross of Nebraska-Kearney.
Pipher faced sixth-seeded Zach Jimenez of San Francisco State, who had defeated the third-seeded and second-seeded wrestlers of the tournament, and picked up his fifth fall of the season in 4:50 to claim his first-ever conference and regional title.
Frazier, the No. 6 seed at 174 pounds, moved to wrestleback on a 10-0 loss to eventual runner-up Cody Vasconellos of Chadron State. Frazier answered with his own major decision against New Mexico Highland's Andrew Roden and took down seventh-seeded Ryan Swanson of Colorado School of Mines in a 10-7 decision.
Frazier defeated Grand Canyon's Daniel Garay for the second time this season on a 9-3 victory and recorded his team-high eighth fall in 1:01against Fort Hays State's Shawn Kuhlman to take third place.
Like the three champions, Francis opened with a fall in the championship quarterfinals over San Francisco State's Isaiah Jiminez late in the second period at 157 pounds. Francis faced Danny Grater of Fort Hays State for the second time this season, but couldn't go 2-0 against the nation's No. 4 wrestler and moved into the wrestleback side of the bracket on a 14-5 loss.
Francis was able to pick up his second victory of the season against Mesa State's Chase Walker by a 9-1 major decision, but fell in the third-place match to Grand Canyon's Stephen Towne to place fourth.
Cruz, who had only wrestled three matches going into regionals, suffered an opening-round loss at 141 pounds to Nebraska-Kearney's Tyler Baker to move into the wrestleback bracket early in the day. He avenged an earlier loss to Mesa State's Trevor Donarksi in an 11-5 decision and picked up a 7-0 victory against Grand Canyon's Kyle Wilson, the No. 6 seed in the tournament.
Cruz reached the consolation finals against fourth-seeded Jesse Snider of Colorado School of Mines off a late pin at 6:43 before falling to Chadron State's Jimmy Savala 10-5 to finish fourth.
O'Brien also suffered an opening-round loss at 125 pounds and faced a tough bracket to earn the national qualifying spot. He avenged an earlier loss this season in a fall against Colorado School of Mine's Chad Lousberg and needed a 1-0 decision to advance past Dustin Stodola of Chadron State.
O'Brien moved to the fifth-place match after a 9-3 decision loss to Tommy Edgmon, the nation's No. 3 wrestler out of Fort Hays State State, and avenged another early-season loss to Nebraska-Kearney's Danny Luttrell to place fifth on a 3-2 decision.
Edgmon's victory against Colorado State-Pueblo's Treven Delaune forced a true fourth-place match between O'Brien and Delaune. After losing to Delaune by a 10-3 decision earlier in the season, O'Brien was able to claim the match by a 9-6 decision and the national tournament berth in his first career regional tournament appearance.
Up Next: The Mountaineers have two weeks off before competing in the NCAA Division II National Championships, March 12-13, at Sapp Fieldhouse on the campus of Nebraska-Omaha.
Story by: Jared Verner, sports information director