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Wrestling | 11/19/2016 11:10:00 PM | Garrett Finke - Sports Information Director

WREST | Two place first at UNK Open

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KEARNEY, Neb. – Western State Colorado University wrestlers Brandon Supernaw and Konnor Schmidt each won their weight classes on Saturday at the University of Nebraska Kearney Open. Supernaw placed first in the Elite Division at 174 pounds, while Schmidt finished first in the Amateur Division at 184 pounds.
Western had eight wrestlers place on Saturday, including Supernaw and Schmidt. Four were in the Elite Division and four were in the Amateur Division.
For the second straight tournament, Western notched at least 20 pins, earning 20 on Saturday.
Supernaw earned wins by way of decision, major decision and a fall to make the finals against Zach Beard of Otero Junior College. Supernaw won the title, winning by injury default in the eighth minute.
Schmidt made his way to the championship bout with wins by a technical fall, a decision, a major decision and a fall. He faced Jacob Smith of Baker University (Kan.) in the finals, winning with a 9-7 decision.
Finishing second on Saturday was Brendan Gonzales at 165 pounds in the Amateur Division. Gonzales won by three straight falls to make his way into the semifinal match before defeating Otero Junior College's Kalin Winkler with a 10-5 decision.
Taylor Bergquist placed third at 184 pounds in the Amateur Division. Berquist also earned three falls including one in the third-place match against Conner Watanabe of Baker.
Three other Mountaineers earned fifth place honors. Mick Dougharity earned one fall, placing fifth at 197 pounds in the Elite Division, while teammate Michael Henry took fifth with two falls at 285 pounds in the Elite Division. Ladd Bunker was the other Western wrestler to place fifth. Bunker used three falls to place fifth at 174 pounds in the Amateur Division.
Zane Rich was the other Mountaineer to place at the UNK Open. Rich placed sixth at 141 pounds in the Elite Division. Rich earned one fall during the tournament.
The Mountaineers will continue the season on Dec. 3 at the Fort Hays State University Open.

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Mountaineers Claim Academic National Championship

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Western State Colorado University wrestling made history on Thursday. The Mountaineers earned the program's first Division II Wrestling Academic Team Championship, with the highest team grade­point average ever recorded in the awards' 23 year history. As a team, Western earned a 3.530 GPA and placed nine individuals on National Wrestling Coaches Association Division II All­Academic Wrestling teams. While it was the first time Western finished first in the team rankings, the Mountaineers finished in the top six for the fourth consecutive season. The NWCA Academic Team NationalChampionship is calculated by averaging the cumulative GPA of 10 wrestlers from each team of which eight of those wrestlers must have competed in their team's regional championship tournament. The NWCA announced the 2015­2016 Division II All­Academic Wrestling Team selections Thursday night before the national championships. One Mountaineer made the first team, five made the second team and three honorable mention selections. Corbin Bennetts (Gr., Buena Vista, Colorado) earned his third first team honor with a 3.96 GPA. Bennetts also earned second team honors during the 2012­13 season. Also earning his fourth appearance on an NWCA All­Academic team was Austin Harris (Sr., Windsor, Colorado). Harris was named to the second team for a third time in his career with a 3.03 GPA. Harris was also named to the honorable mention team during the 2013­14 season. Also making the second team was Tyler Adams (Sr., Rancho Santa Margarita, California) with a 3.73 GPA. Adams is a three­time NWCA All­Academic selection. Travis Bradford (So., Houston, Texas) also made the second team with a 3.87 GPA. Bradford earned honorable mention last season. Zane Rich (So., Syracuse, Utah) earned his second, second team honor with a 3.46 GPA and Brandon Supernaw (RFr., Colorado Springs, Colorado) made his first appearance with a second team honor and 3.50 GPA. Western's honorable mention selections were Ladd Bunker (RFr., Erie, Colorado), Ryan Pellow (So., Colorado Springs, Colorado) and Ian Steen (So., Graham, Washington). Bunker had a 3.50 GPA, Pellow recorded a 3.49 GPA and Steen had a 3.21 GPA. In order for a student­athlete to be nominated to the Division II All­Academic Team, he needed to have a minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA on a 4.00 scale. He must also be in at least his second full year at his current school, be a varsity member of his team or a key reserve, demonstrate a degree ofskill and have a minimum of two letters of recommendation. Copyright ©2016 Western State Colorado University
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