In their final weekend of wrestling in the regular season, UVU’s wrestling team had mixed results, coming away with a victory over the University of Northern Colorado but following with a close loss to Air Force.
Coming off a six-match losing streak, including the last four against ranked opponents, the Wolverines were in need of some momentum which they were able to score against the Northern Colorado Bears on Feb. 15. Senior Mitchell Brown from Payson, Utah led the way with an early 3-0 win over senior Rico Montoya at the 125-pound weight class.
After dropping several in a row, junior Demetrius Romero brought UVU back into it with a 4-0 win at the 165-pound weight group. From there, junior Kimball Bastian (174), senior Will Sumner (184), junior Tanner Orndorff (197), and redshirt freshman Tate Orndoff (285) topped the Bears to come away with a final score of 22-17.
At the United States Air Force Academy on Feb. 16, the Wolverines weren’t quite able to pull off the second win. The teams were an even 5-5 on matches, but the Falcons had the points end in their favor, eventually coming out on top 25-17.
Romero (165), Bastian (184), Sumner (184), Tanner Orndorff (197), and Tate Orndorff (285) all beat their opponents in the loss and came away 2-0 on the weekend. All five of these wrestlers, as well as sophomore Matt Findlay, who did not compete in the duals in Colorado, are currently ranked in the top 25 in the NCAA Division I Coaches’ Panel and RPI Rankings.
Tanner Orndorff was named Big 12 Wrestler of the Week for the second consecutive week after going 2-0 on both weekends. For the matches out in Colorado, this included knocking off UNC’s Jacob Seely, who is ranked at No. 23 in the nation.
“Honestly, my Fresno State loss was my pot of gold at the end of the year,” the junior from Spokane, Wash. said. “It exposed some things in my pre-match routine and my strategy on the mat. In that match, I got down by a lot of points in the first period so far that I wasn’t able to come back and win. After that match, I took a step back and took a look at my routine and I felt like it got me where I needed to be for the last four duals. I just put my head down, took them one at a time, and ended up winning all of them.”
UVU will head to Tulsa, Okla. March 9-10 to compete in the Big 12 Championships.
Photo courtesy of Jay Drowns/UVU Marketing
I put more miles on my running shoes in high school than my car, I love playing basketball and my ukulele, and I have lived in eight states.