Perkins captures regional title; Three advance to nationals; Pack finish fourth

Perkins captures regional title; Three advance to nationals; Pack finish fourth


LAS VEGAS, N. M. (February 25, 2018) - The No. 5 Colorado State University-Pueblo wrestling team will send three student-athletes to the NCAA National Championships after qualifying at the 2018 NCAA Division II Super Region Four Championships in Las Vegas, New Mexico Saturday. The ThunderWolves finished fourth as a team.

The ThuderWolves recorded a top five finish at the regional for the second straight season. The Pack have sent three or more wrestlers to to the national meet for the sixth consecutive year. 

Sophomore No. 1 JaVaughn Perkins (Omaha, Neb.) was crowned as the region champion at 184 with a takedown in sudden victory to defeat third-ranked Nicholas Fiegener 3-1. Perkins defeated Fiegener in the same fashion in the title match at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championships, while Fiegener defeated Perkins in the championship bout at the last year's regional. 

At 133, No. 12 PT Garcia (Jr., Denver, Colo.) used two pinfalls to finish third at the Super Region Four Championships. He will advance to his second consecutive national championships as a member of the Pack. Garcia won in 2:11 in the consolation semifinal, then produced a second period pin at 3:57 against Noah Au Yeung of Colorado School of Mines to secure his spot. 

Senior No. 9 Cody Johnson (Broken Arrow, Okla.) will make his first appearance at the NCAA Division II National Championships, as he also finished third. He dominated his consolation semifinal and posted a 10-3 victory against Rulon Taylor of Chadron State College. Johnson then produced a 2-1 victory in the first tiebreak against Ciaran Ball of Simon Fraser University. 

Ranked No. 1 nationally entering the tournament, senior JaCobi Jones (Omaha, Neb.) was primed to reach his fourth straight NCAA Championship. Unfortunately, a loss to Jason Buhr of Colorado Mesa University in the consolation semifinal sent him to the fifth place bout. He lost to Buhr 6-5 after leading 5-4 with about a minute remaining in the third period. In his final match as a member of the ThunderWolves, Jones won by pin at 4:04 to finish fifth. Buhr lost the third place match, so no true fourth match was wrestled. 

Finally, senior No. 10 Clay Archer (Broken Arrow, Okla.) had a tall task at 141, as he had to wrestle No. 3 Brandon Ball of Fort Hays State University in the consolation semifinal. Archer fell by a 10-0 major decision, but rebounded in the fifth place match and won 7-5 in sudden victory against No. 7 Cruz Velasquez of Simon Fraser. Ball lost his third place match, so no true fourth match was wrestled and Archer finished fifth. 

The three Pack qualifiers have two weeks to prepare for the NCAA Division II National Championships, set for March 9-10 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 

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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.