Wrestling | 2/25/2017 4:11:00 PM | Garrett Finke - Sports Information Director
GOLDEN, Colo. – Western State Colorado University will be sending four to the NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships on March 10 in Birmingham, Alabama. The Mountaineers qualified those four wrestlers on Saturday at the NCAA Division II Region IV Championships.
As a team, Western finished fifth of 15 teams at the regional championships. The Mountaineers earned 75.5 team points. California Baptist University took home the team title with 125 points.
Western's four qualifiers were Ronald Wardleigh at 125 pounds, Ian Steen at 149 pounds, Brandon Supernaw at 174 pounds and Konnor Schmidt at 184 pounds. Wardleigh and Supernaw each placed second at the tournament, while Steen finished third. Schmidt finished fourth, not needing a true fourth wrestle-back.
It will be the second trip to the Division II National Championships for Wardleigh, Steen and Supernaw. Wardleigh finished sixth last year, earning All-America honors. It will be the first national championship appearance for redshirt freshman Schmidt.
No. 3 Wardleigh face No. 2 Dustin Reed of Newman University in the finals on Saturday. It was the first time the two faced each other this season. Reed was able to get the first takedown and win by an 8-4 decision.
No. 10 Supernaw faced No. 12 Nolan Kistler of California Baptist University in the 174-pound championship bout. Supernaw was unable to get points back from Kistler, losing 10-3.
While both Wardleigh and Supernaw had qualified on Friday, Steen and Schmidt needed two wins on Saturday to punch their tickets to the national championships.
Steen started Saturday with an 8-3 decision over No. 9 Blake Clevenger of Ouachita Baptist University. Despite getting down early, Steen kept grinding and finally broke Clevenger in the third period to move into the third place match.
In the 149-pound third place bout, Steen came up against Cal Baptist's Daxton Gordon. Steen fell behind and was down 10-2 with less than a minute remaining in the match. Steen found a way to win, pinning Gordon with only three seconds left in the match.
For Schmidt, he earned a comeback decision in the consolation semifinals to make the third place match. Schmidt defeated Colorado Mesa University's Austin Gaun, ranked seventh, 9-4.
In the 184-pound third place match, Schmidt was defeated by a late takedown from No. 9 Zach Stodden of the University of Nebraska Kearney. Stodden took third with a 9-7 decision.
While the third place match was happening, Gaun won fifth place and secured Schmidt's national qualifying spot.
For 197-pound Mick Dougharity, he ended the season with a pin. Dougharity started the day in the consolation semifinals, but after losing to University of Central Oklahoma's Greg Wilson, ranked second in Division II, Dougharity was thrust into the fifth place match.
Dougharity faced Colorado State University – Pueblo's Cody Johnson in the fifth place bout. Dougharity make quick work of Johnson, pinning him in 2:12.
With the win, Dougharity needed Wilson to win the third place match in order for him to get a true-fourth bout and a shot at qualifying for the national championships. However, Wilson lost his third place match, taking fourth.
The only other Mountaineer still wrestling on Saturday was Shawn Beiriger at 157 pounds. Beiriger was in the consolation semifinals but suffered two defeats, finishing the tournament in sixth place.
The Division II National Championships will begin on March 10 in Birmingham, Alabama as part of the Division II Winter Sports Festival. Festival locations, times and information can be found here. Click here to purchase tickets.
1. California Baptist University - 125.0
2. Colorado State University-Pueblo - 112.5
3. University Of Nebraska at Kearney - 100.5
4. University Of Central Oklahoma - 97.5
5. Western State Colorado University - 75.5
6. Colorado Mesa University - 57.0
7. Fort Hays State University - 56.0
8. Chadron State College - 48.0
9. Adams State University - 40.0
10. Colorado School Of Mines - 37.0
11. Newman University - 32.5
12. Ouachita Baptist University - 20.0
13. Simon Fraser University - 18.5
14. New Mexico Highlands University - 14.5
15. San Francisco State University - 13.5
Wrestling | 2/4/2017 6:54:00 PM | Garrett Finke - Sports Information Director
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Whenever Western State Colorado University wrestling is on a big stage, the Mountaineers are usually near the top. Saturday at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championships was no different. The Mountaineers finished third as a team and placed seven wrestlers in the top six.
Western (6-6, 2-2 RMAC) also boasted an individual RMAC Champion. The Mountaineers' 125 pounder, No. 3 Ronald Wardleigh, made his way to the finals by earning a technical fall in his first match and then a major decision in the semifinal match.
The senior then pinned San Francisco State University's Matt Gamble to become the conference champion and earn his NCAA Division II leading 12th fall of the season. Wardleigh finished runner-up at the RMAC Championship last season.
Wardleigh led all wrestlers in team points for the tournament with 19.50.
The Mountaineers had two other wrestlers make the finals. Brandon Supernaw at 174 pounds and Mick Dougharity at 197 pounds both finished runners-up.
After earning a major decision in his first bout of the tournament, No. 9 Supernaw was pushed into overtime by Adams State University's Koery Windham in the quarterfinals. Supernaw would prevail in sudden victory and earned a 14-7 decision to make the finals.
For Dougharity, the senior won by decision in his first match to make the semifinals. He then dominated SFSU's Jonathon Costa and won by disqualification. Dougharity fell to No. 1 Jacob Waste in the finals after giving the top-ranked 197 pound wrestler all he could handle.
The lone Mountaineer to finish third in the tournament was 165-pound Brendan Gonzales. The redshirt freshman tied for the most falls in the conference championships with two. Gonzales' only match lost was to the eventual RMAC Champion Jacobi Jones of CSU-Pueblo.
Western's Ian Steen finished fifth at 149 pounds, while Seth Rich at 141 pounds and Taylor Bergquist at 184 pounds finished sixth.
The Mountaineers continue the season next weekend when they host Adams State University on Friday and New Mexico Highlands on Saturday. Both duals begin at 7 p.m. in Paul Wright Gym.
1. CSU Pueblo - 116.5
2. California Baptist - 100.5
3. Western State - 90.0
4. Colorado Mesa - 88.0
5. Chadron State - 86.5
6. San Francisco State - 80.5
7. Adams State - 56.5
8. Colorado School of Mines - 55.0
9. New Mexico Highlands - 39.5