KEARNEY, Neb. (November 20, 2017) - Colorado State University-Pueblo sophomore Gavin Melendez (Los Banos, Calif.) won the amateur division title at 149 at the University of Nebraska-Kearney Holiday Inn Open Saturday to lead the No. 7 ThunderWolves wrestling team.
Melendez became the first member of the Pack to win a title at the UNK Holiday Open in the 10 years since the restart of the program. He went 5-0 to earn the top spot with two major decisions. His first win was by a 22-9 major decision, then a 5-3 decision moved him on. A 15-2 major followed with a 6-3 win to push the sophomore to the championship bout. He wrestled Jake DeSersa of Chadron State College to a 9-5 decision victory to claim the title.
Sophomore Tanner Kuktez (Granbury, Texas) was fourth at 125 in the amateur division, as he posted a 3-2 record. He pinned his way through the first three rounds, as he posted a second period win (4:50) and two first period victories (2:13 and 1:52) to advance in the championship side of the bracket. He lost his next bout to the eventual bracket champion then advanced to the third-place match by RULE (new NCAA rule that athletes can't compete in more than six matches a day). He lost the final match of the day by major decision.
The ThunderWolves had three wrestlers place in the top six wrestling unattached.
The final competition of the 2017 calender year will be the Reno Tournament of Champions Dec. 17 in Reno, Nevada.
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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.