FHSU Sports Information Department
KEARNEY, Neb. – Fort Hays State wrestling dropped its final dual of the season at the hands of Nebraska-Kearney by the score of 31-16 on Thursday (Feb. 9). The 16th-ranked Tigers finished the dual season at 5-6 overall and 2-3 in the MIAA, good for a fourth-place finish. The second-ranked Lopers improved to 16-6 overall and 4-1 in the conference.
The Tigers started the match out with a major decision win in the 125-pound bout by Conrad Cole over Vladyslav Kazakov, 14-3. After a fall by the Lopers in the 133-pound bout, No. 10 ranked Brandon Ball gave the Tigers the lead once more after a tight 7-6 decision over No. 11 Jacob Wasser at 141 pounds.
Another pinfall by the Lopers at 149 pounds, kept the see-saw scoring in effect but set the stage for redshirt-freshman Greg Tooley to pull off his biggest win yet as a Tiger. Tooley took the mat against the defending national champion Destin McCauley. Tied 1-1 after three periods, Tooley earned a 5-1 sudden victory in overtime over No. 2 ranked McCauley. That pulled the Tigers within two at 12-10.
But UNK flexed its muscle in the 165 through 184-pound matches, extending its lead to 28-10 thanks to two major decisions and a pin. Second-ranked Jon Inman then cut that lead to 28-16 when he picked up a pin of his own over Trey Schlender. At heavyweight, No. 9 ranked Christian Lance dropped a tough 3-1 decision to No. 3 ranked Kevin Barrett and the Lopers won the dual by 15 points.
The Tigers rest for a couple days before they hit the mats in Kearney once more for the MIAA Championships on Sunday (Feb. 12). The wrestling is scheduled to begin at 10 am.