KEARNEY, Neb. – The No. 12 ranked Fort Hays State wrestling team left the Midwest Duals empty-handed after dropping the opening dual to Colorado Mesa, 24-23, and then falling to No. 7 ranked CSU-Pueblo by a score of 19-15. The Tigers are now 1-7 in duals, while the Mavericks move to 7-6 and the ThunderWolves go to 9-2 this season.
Colorado Mesa 24, #12 Fort Hays State 23
The Tigers began their day with a dual against the Mavericks. In the first match of the dual, Broderick Green earned a 3-0 decision, giving the Tigers the early advantage. No. 2 ranked Brandon Ball earned a 6-2 decision over No. 10 ranked Eduardo Penha. Ryne Cokeley bounced back in a big way by pinning Daniel Van Hoose in 0:34. The Tigers earned another five points when No. 4 ranked Efe Osaghae used a commanding 16-0 technical fall to defeat Luke Au-Yeung at 157 pounds. After dropping the next four bouts, FHSU was looking for anything from A.J. Cooper in the final bout of the dual. The sophomore from Cimarron, Kan. delivered in big way, earning a pin over Hunter Mooring in the final minute of the third period. The fall tied the match at 23-23 after the ten matchups. Colorado Mesa earned the victory after earning a team point due to a tie-breaking procedure.
#7 CSU-Pueblo 19, #12 Fort Hays State 15
After losing the first two bouts to decisions, the Tigers earned nine points thanks to Brandon Ball, Ryne Cokeley and Efe Osaghae. Ball picked up a 1-0 decision over Paul Garcia at 141-pounds. Cokeley earned his third victory of the season with a 5-1 decision over Oscar Diaz in the 149-pound bout and Osaghae narrowly earned a 5-3 decision over Isaiah Diggs at 157 pounds. The Tigers tacked on six more points in the dual with decisions from both No. 9 Marty Verhaeghe and Micquille Robinson. Verhaeghe (174 pounds) bounced back with a 7-2 win over Jair Flores and Robinson squeezed past Maxwell Martell, 6-5, at 184 pounds.
Fort Hays State returns home for a home dual against No. 19 ranked Western State next weekend (Jan. 25). The Tigers and Mountaineers will step on the mat inside Gross Memorial Coliseum beginning at 6 p.m.