FORT WAYNE, Ind. (January 5, 2017) – In the first day of the National Duals, Colorado State University-Pueblo Wrestling proved it could beat any team in the country. The Pack defeated two top 10 teams to move into the semifinals of the tournament.
In its first dual of the day, the Pack toppled No.6 Mercyhurst 27-20. They returned later in the day to stun No. 3 Notre Dame 18-17 and earn a berth in the tournament semifinals.
The Pack fell behind Mercyhurst 10-4, with the four points coming from a PT Garcia (R-So, Denver, Colo.) major decision. Kyle Fantin (R-So., Cave Creek, Ariz.) brought the Pack back within one with a technical fall.
After Mercyhurst extend the lead to seven, Kyle Bateman (Sr., Sandy, Ore.) earned a fall in 4:39 to make it a one point dual once again. With the Pack down 20-15 with two matches left, Cody Johnson (Jr., Broken Arrow, Okla.) answered with a fall (6:41) to give the Pack a 21-20 lead.
In the decisive heavyweight match, Augie Desantis (R-Jr., Escondido, Calif.) fell behind early. With just four seconds left in the first round, DeSantis ended the dual with a pinfall that gave the Pack a 27-20 upset victory over the No.6 ranked Lakers.
The Pack's first victory set up a battle with No.3 Notre Dame College. Once again, the Pack would fall behind early, trailing the Falcons 11-3 after four matches. Fantin earned his second win of the day by decision to cut the lead to five.
JaCobi Jones (Jr., Omaha, Neb.) went to overtime with his opponent. In the extra period, Jones came up with a fall that gave the Pack a 12-11 lead. Bateman earned a decision win to give the Pack three consecutive victories and a 15-11 advantage.
Despite a valiant effort by freshman JaVaughn Perkins (Omaha, Neb.) against the No. 1 ranked 184 pounder in the country, the Falcons trimmed the Pack's lead to one thanks to a 1-0 decision. Johnson answered with his second win of the day, a 6-0 decision, to put the Pack up 18-14. DeSantis fended off a furious pin attempt from the Falcons heavyweight, Kameron Teacher, to preserve the Pack's win, giving CSU-Pueblo the 18-17 upset victory.
Garcia, Fantin Bateman and Johnson all went 2-0 Thursday. Garcia won twice by decision, with one major. Fantin had a technical fall and a decision. Bateman and Johnson both earned a fall and a decision to send the Pack into the semifinals.
The Pack will face No. 22 Wheeling Jesuit University Friday at 9 a.m. as the National Duals continue. Click Here to track day two of the competition.
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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics