Jan 24, 2023

Eagles top Fort Hays State, hand #1 Central Oklahoma strong challenge on mats

Posted Jan 24, 2023 7:08 PM

BY: CON MARSHALL
CSC Sports Information

After having its home dual against Colorado Mesa scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 19 postponed because of blocked highways linking Colorado and Nebraska, the Chadron State College wrestling team ended the week on a high note during the Midwest Duals on Saturday.

The Eagles, who are 23rd in the Division II Wrestling Coaches rankings released last week, initially defeated No. 17 ranked Fort Hays State 32-15, pretty well held their own against top-ranked Central Oklahoma before losing 25-14. The team then rolled past the Newman Jets from Kansas 39-6.

Senior Ethan Leake, the Californian who qualified the DII National Finals last year, won all three of his 141-pound matches—two of them by pins and the other by a 12-6 decision—to lead the Eagles.  He's now 13-5 for the season.

Quen Campbell, the Georgia native who transferred to CSC last fall and is ranked No. 2 at 133 pounds by the coaches association despite missing several matches because of an injury, won both of this matches. He pinned his Fort Hays State rival and blanked his Newman foe 5-0 to raise his season record to 11-1.

Campbell did not take the mat against Central Oklahoma's nationally-ranked 133-pounder as it is not unusual for coaches to withhold their standouts during what could be described as somewhat "unimportant matches" when there's a chance they'll collide during the National Tournament when the stakes will be much higher.

The Eagles, however, won the 133-pound match against Central Oklahoma, with Colter Jillian of Kemmerer, Wyo., defeating Garrett Steidley 10-3.

Another of CSC's winners vs. Central Oklahoma was senior Preston Renner of Broomfield, Colo., who won the 165-pound bout after Ty Lucas took a medical forfeit midway in the first period. Ty Lucas is a two-time All-American at 157 pounds for the Bronchos and is Dylan's older brother.

Renner, who did not compete during the first semester because of injury, also scored a 10-2 victory over his Fort Hays State opponent and received a forfeit from Newman to join Leake with a 3-0 record at Midwest Duals.

CSC's Brody Lamb of Wellington, Colo., who also was recovering from an injury the first semester, has returned to action recently, did not take the mat against Central Oklahoma, but won both of his other 157-pound matches Saturday. 

Heavyweight Mason Watt of Broomfield, Colo., went 2-1.  He won a 15-5 major decision over his Fort Hays opponent and pinned his Newman rival in less than a minute.  His third match was a close. Braden Morgan of Central Oklahoma won 4-2 in overtime.  Watt is 10-3 for the season and is among the Eagles that Coach Brett Hunter is hoping will become a national qualifier when CSC hosts the Super Region 6 Championships in about a month.  

In addition, sophomore Quade Smith of Layton, Utah, and freshman Brandon Paredes of Tucson, Ariz., finished the duals with 2-1 records, losing only close matches to Central Oklahoma entries.