Kearney, Neb. – The 4th-ranked Nebraska-Kearney wrestling team went 4-0 at the 2nd Annual Midwest Duals Saturday at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds.
The dual tournament featured 24 teams (23 schools) competing on 13 mats. In all, 47 duals were held, as well as many exhibition matches.
UNK (9-3, 1-0) beat 5th-ranked Central Oklahoma, 23-18, Southwest Minnesota State, 31-6, Northern (S.D.) State, 45-6, and Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater, 28-15.
The Lopers were still minus Lincoln sophomore Chase White (3rd/157 lbs.) but sophomore Daniel DeShazer (Wichita, Kans.), the 133 lbs. defending national champ, saw his first action of the 2013-14 season as he wrestled in the two afternoon duals.
The key match came right off the bat against the rival UCO Bronchos.
At 141 lbs., second-ranked Brock Coutu (Griswold, Conn.) had a second period fall to give UNK a 10-4 lead. UCO countered with a fall and a tech to take the lead but then Gering senior Brock Smith stunned top-ranked Chris Watson, 5-3, at 165 lbs.
The oft-injured Smith managed takedowns in each of the first two periods, and then got an escape in the third, to record his biggest win as a Loper.
Despite wins by senior Patrick Martinez (4th/174 lbs.) and sophomore Romero Cotton (1st/197 lbs.), the dual came down to the heavy weight match. There, veteran Kelsey Empting (Ponca City, Okla.) recorded a takedown in the first sudden victory period to beat eighth-ranked Cody Dauphin, 5-3.
Empting earned All-American honors at 197 lbs. for the Lopers in 2007. However, injuries sidelined him soon after and a rodeo career followed.
UNK had three falls and three majors to roll past the NSU Wolves. One of the falls was by DeShazer, who spent the fall on the football field. Against Northern, Martinez tallied a 21-6 tech fall of sixth-ranked Jacob Begin with Coutu recording another pin.
Whitewater, ranked third in the NCAA Division III, fell behind 16-0 as Kansas junior Tyler Anderson had a late pin at 149 lbs. with Central City sophomore Connor Bolling winning by major decision at 125 lbs. Later, Martinez had another fall with Empting losing in overtime.
UNK is at Fort Hays State Wednesday night and then visits Adams State on Saturday
Courtesy of UNK Media Relations