Four undefeated for No. 19 Tiger wrestling at Midwest Duals
KEARNEY, Neb. No. 19 Fort Hays State wrestling was unable to come away with a dual victory despite many strong individual efforts Saturday (Jan. 23) at the ninth annual Midwest Duals. Fort Hays State was narrowly defeated by CSU-Pueblo, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, and Western Colorado on the day. The Tigers' dual record now sits at 1-6 on the season.
No. 2 Mason Turner, Marty Verhaeghe, Tereus Henry and No. 9 A.J. Cooper all finished a perfect 3-0 on the day. All four recorded multiple bonus-point wins, with Verhaeghe and Cooper both recording two pins in their three victories. In extra matches, Colin Cole (pin), Cody Hicks (pin), LJ Flax (Dec. 7-4) and Tony Caldwell (Maj. 10-2) all drew victories.
Fort Hays found themselves in a 23-6 hole midway through their dual with CSU-Pueblo. The Tigers won three of the last four matches in the dual, but the deficit was too much to overcome, falling 26-21. Turner started the day off with a quick first period pin. Verhaeghe picked up another pin at 174 pounds to give the Tigers some life and cut the lead to 23-12. Henry (4-0 decision) and Cooper (pin) both tallied individual victories in their matches to round out the dual.
In their second matchup, Fort Hays State and Northeastern Oklahoma A&M split on their individual matchups and tied 26-26. However, the second tiebreaker criteria had the Tigers on the wrong side as the advantage went to the Golden Noresman. Mason Turner dominated in the opening bout, earning a 16-0 tech fall in less than two minutes to again to put the Tigers on the board first. After falling behind 14-5, Cody Hicks picked up six points after an injury default at 157 pounds, cutting the Norseman lead to 3. Fort Hays State finished strong once again, picking up three victories in their final four matches. Verhaeghe earned a 10-2 major decision, Henry dominated in a 16-1 tech fall and Cooper recorded another pin to help the Tigers tie things up at 26. Northeastern Oklahoma A&M came away with the victory as tiebreaker criteria earned them an extra point for more wins via pin, forfeit or default (3-2).
Turner sparked the Tigers to another big start in the third dual of the day, earning an 18-0 first period tech fall to give Fort Hays the early 5-0 lead against Western Colorado. Anthony Scantlin cut the Mountaineer lead to 17-8 after a 6-0 decision at 157 pounds. Verhaeghe's second pin of the day in his match brought the Tigers within seven. Fort Hays would win two of their last three matches, but were unable to complete the comeback. Henry (Dec. 6-3) and Cooper (MD 10-2) finished the day strong for the Tigers picking up their third victories.
Fort Hays State returns home to open their conference schedule Thursday (Jan. 29) when the Tigers host the Jennies of Central Missouri. The dual is set to begin at 7:00 p.m. inside Gross Memorial Coliseum.