The Pack wrestling team was back in action Thursday, Jan. 26, facing a difficult test against fifth-ranked Nebraska-Kearney.
After getting out to a quick start winning the first two matches in the 125 and 133 weight classes, the Pack saw a string of defeats losing their final seven out of eight matches.
The Pack knew it would be a challenge, especially when it came to the 149, 157 and 165 weight classes. Kearney’s three duelers were ranked No. 2 in the nation and two of them were facing below .500 wrestlers for the Pack. Although the Pack fought hard, all three fell short by hefty margins.
Even after a string of Kearney wins, the Pack was still in a position to take the lead. CSU-Pueblo sophomore Trevor Grant was faced with taking on the fourth straight nationally-ranked Loper in his 174-pound duel against eight-ranked Mark Fiala.
In one of the tightest matches of the night, Grant scored a late take down to seal a three-point victory for the Pack, inching them back in the hunt for an upset.
With Grant’s upset win, Pack coach Dax Charles must have been feeling good about their chances going forward. Pack junior Adam Carey, in the 184-pound weight class and ranked seventh in the nation, took on Ross Brunkhardt with a chance to bring the Pack within two points of the powerhouse Lopers.
The match went into two sudden death overtimes, the second in a row for Carey, when Brunkhardt finally completed the upset with a take down.
Though it would be a long road back, the Pack still had two chances to make a comeback with their final two wrestlers, 197-pound freshman Cody Johnson and heavyweight Bill Gray. But it just wasn’t the Pack’s night. Johnson and Gray were both defeated, sealing a 25-10 Nebraska-Kearney win.
After a three-match win streak, CSU-Pueblo has dropped the last two. With the loss, the Pack’s record drops to 7-5 overall.
CSU-Pueblo takes to the road in their next two conference duels when they take on Colorado Mesa and Western State before returning to Massari Arena against Oklahoma City University Feb. 8, at 7 p.m.