LAS VEGAS, N.M. (February 23, 2018) - Five members of the Colorado State University-Pueblo wrestling team remain in the hunt for a bid to the national championships following the first day of action at the 2018 NCAA Division II Super Region Four Championships in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Sophomore JaVaughn Perkins (Omaha, Neb.) has earned a spot at the national meet and will wrestle for the region championship at 184.
The ThunderWolves stand fifth after the first day with 61.5 team points. They are fourth among Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference teams, which includes the leader in California Baptist University (94.5 points). Action continues Saturday at 10 a.m. with the consolation semifinals. The championship bouts and consolation finals are scheduled to begin at 12 p.m.
Perkins won by technical fall (16-0 in the first period) and by pin fall (2:05) to reach the semifinals. He wrestled Richard Bencomo of Adams State and would need extra time to win 3-1 in the first sudden victory round. Perkins is the No. 1 wrestler nationally at 184 and will meet No. 3 Nicholas Fiegener of Cal-Baptist in the final. The two have wrestled twice this year with Perkins winning both meetings, which included in the RMAC Championship final. Last year, it was Fiegener who claimed by the region title by beating Perkins.
Ranked No. 9 nationally at heavyweight, Cody Johnson (Sr., Broken Arrow, Okla.) won his first two bouts to reach the semifinal. He won by a 5-4 decision with a late third period takedown in round one, then pinned his opponent in 1:44 in round two to meet No. 5 Jarrod Hinrichs of University of Nebraska-Kearney. Johnson lost by a 5-3 decision and will wrestle in the consolation semifinals against Rulon Taylor of Chadron State College.
No. 12 PT Garcia (Jr., Denver, Colo.) pinned his way to the semifinals at 133, as he won in 38 seconds in round one then won in 4:07. He meet No. 6 Nathan Cervantez of San Francisco State University and lost by a 10-5 decision. He is set to battle Weston Cronan of Occita Baptist University.
The biggest surprise of day one was a first round loss at 165 by No. 1 JaCobi Jones (Sr., Omaha, Neb.). Tied 5-5 he was taken down with 30 seconds left in the third period to suffer a 7-5 loss. The senior and three-time All-American battled back with a 13-5 major decision. A medical forfeit moved him to the second session where he produced a 6-2 decision victory to reach the consolation semifinals. Two wins would guarantee his fourth nationals appearance, as he will face Jason Buhr of Colorado Mesa University. The two haven't met this season, but have a history of big battles in year's past.
At 141, No. 10 Clay Archer (Sr., Broken Arrow, Okla.) won't let his career end without a fight. He won his first bout by a 9-1 major decision, but would fall in his next match by a 13-6 decision. The senior recorded a first period pin (1:04) an a second period pin (4:32) to move on to the consolation semis. Upsets were the norm in the 141 bracket, as Archer will now face No. 3 Brandon Ball of Fort Hays State University. No. 5 Cruz Velasquez of Simon Fraser University is on the other side of the consolation bracket, making three of the top 10 wrestlers nationally battling for two spots.
Senior Kyle Fantin (Cave Creek, Ariz.) won twice, but failed to make it out of day one after qualifying for the national championships last season. An overtime loss in the first round placed him in the consolation bracket. He won by a 13-5 major decision and then pinned his next opponent in 2:31 to reach the second session of the day. He lost by pin fall to close his senior season with a 16-10 record.
Freshman Donavon Rincon (Pueblo, Colo.) won his first match at 197 by a 9-4 decision, but would fall in his final two bouts to go 1-2 in his first regional championship.
Senior Jared Mestas (Pueblo, Colo.) went 1-2 at 149 with his one winning coming by a 5-2 decision. He closed his senior season with a 13-16 record.
Ranked No. 8 nationally at 125, Josiah Seaton (Jr., Bonner Springs, Kan.) was riding a five match win streak entering the championships and drew a first round bye, but Friday just wasn't his day. The junior suffered a tough 4-3 decision to Trenton Piatt of Western State Colorado University (who Seaton defeated on his way to the RMAC Championship). He then suffered another heartbreaker, losing by a 3-2 decision to end his season.
Junior Preston Lauterbach (Bellevue, Neb.) had a first round bye, but lost his first bout of the championships by a 14-4 major decision. Battling injury all season, he was forced to medically forfeit his next match to end his first season with the ThunderWolves.
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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.