The Eagle grapplers finished their dual season this weekend as they traveled to Rock Springs, Wyoming, winning over 10th-ranked NJCAA team Western Wyoming Community College.
Despite once again giving up an open in the 125-pound weight class, the Eagles were able to earn a 22-15 win, taking six out of nine bouts. The win means CSC finishes the season with a 4-6 dual record.
“I was disappointed in a few guys and how they wrestled,” CSC Head Coach Brett Hunter said of the dual, “because I know obviously they can wrestle harder and better. But I thought in general, we did a good job.”
Multiple Eagles were national placers with WWCC last year, including junior Wade French of Herriman, Utah at 197-pounds, 174-pound junior Matt Hebel of Erie, Colorado, and Senior Aspen Naylor of Syracuse, Utah, at 184-pounds.
“For them to get back on campus, and be in the locker room, be in the wrestling room, be in the gym, brought back a lot of memories,” Hunter said. “They had a lot of fun.”
French defeated third-ranked NJCAA wrestler and former teammate, Connor Kirkland, sophomore of West Haven, Utah, during the dual.
“It was different,” Hunter said. “For Wade French for example, they were training partners, the guy he wrestled. They trained together every day. So it was different for them. Luckily, Wade kind of dominated the match, and won 5-2.”
Senior heavyweight Rulon Taylor, of Curtis, also had an important bout, securing the dual win by pinning the third-ranked wrestler in the NJCAA, Landon Brown.
“We knew it was going to be a tough match. But Rulon kind of has been in the situation before. He’s a fifth- year guy, duals have come down to him,” Hunter said. “We were up a point going into that match.”
Hunter said the first period of bout didn’t feature a lot of action as the two wrestlers felt each other out, but that Taylor got an escape to go up 1-0 in the second.
“During (the second period), he kind of pushed hard on us and Rulon went to a hip toss, and was able to get the pin on the edge.
“It was kind of an exciting way to end his dual career,” Hunter said, smiling.
The Eagles will travel to Golden, Colorado, Sunday, for the Rocky Mountain Open scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.
“It’s a good open for us in terms of our unattached and our redshirts,” Hunter said. “They haven’t competed in a while.”
For the varsity wrestlers, Hunter said the Open will provide a good tune up for the upcoming regional tournament.