CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (March 10, 2018) - Colorado State University-Pueblo's JaVaughn Perkins (R-So., Omaha, Neb.) finished runner-up at 184 at the NCAA Division II National Championships to guide the ThunderWolves to 11th place, the team's best finish at he national championships since restarting the program 10 years ago.
The Pack collected 30 points to finish 11th, just a half point out of the top 10. The previous best since the restart was 12th in 2016 when the ThunderWolves had three All-Americans. CSU-Pueblo was the second best Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference team, as Cal-Baptist was third overall. The Pack were ranked No. 15 entering the championships.
Perkins won his semifinal bout by a 12-1 major decision against No. 9 Jeff Reimel of Kutztown to advance to the championship bout.
He fell in the finals by a 3-1 decision, as No. 12 Noel Torres of Newman scored a takedown in the final minute of the third period to secure the win. Both athletes scored an escape point for the score to be tied 1-1 in the third. Perkins appeared to position himself for a takedown, but the points weren't awarded and Torres was able to reverse the position for the takedown. Head Coach Dax Charles attempted to challenge the call, but by the time the points were established for Torres, it was too late to review. Perkins was unable to escape to lose by the 3-1 decision.
Perkins is a back-to-back All-American performer for the Pack, while the second place finish is the second best in those 10 years since the program restarted. Jesse Hillhouse won the national title at 125 in 2013. Ranked No. 1 entering the championships, he finished the season with a 13-3 record.
Senior heavyweight Cody Johnson (Broken Arrow, Okla.) finished fourth at the championships. He lost his semifinal bout by a 5-3 decision to the eventual national champion, Terrance Fanning of Wheeling Jesuit, Next he earned a 4-3 decision victory in the final seconds of his bout with No. 4 Caleb Cotter of Central Oklahoma to advance to the third place bout. In his final collegiate match he was pinned in the first period by No. 11 Matt Halverson of UW-Parkside. He was ranked No. 12 entering the championships and finished his senior season with a 23-11 record.
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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.