NWC returns from long road trip
The seventh-ranked Northwest College wrestling team returned from a lengthy road trip to begin the 2013 portion of their schedule with four victories in five duals. Northwest defeated No. 6 Colby, No. 10 Ellsworth, No. 12 Pratt and No. 14 Neosho on the heels of their stellar showing at the Utah Valley University open tournament.
Northwest’s only blemish from its week on the road came at the hands of No. 2 Labette. All five of the dual matches were contested within the space of approximately 36 hours.
“I think it was a great trip,” Trapper wrestling coach Jim Zeigler said of the team’s journey to Kansas. “I’m proud of our kids. It was a very difficult road trip to open the second semester. It was tough, physically, for the kids to make weight with all the travel we did by van and by plane. It’s hard on them, and they withstood the test and did a good job wrestling.”
As has been the case throughout much of the season, the Trappers’ success was anchored in the talents of its lightweights.
“Individually, T.J. Guild (133 pounds) had an outstanding weekend for us,” said Zeigler. “He won both of his dual matches and received a couple other forfeits from teams that were open. The two kids he beat on the mat, though, were both highly ranked.”
Guild, who began the semester ranked 11th nationally at 133 pounds, had his arm lifted following wins against the No. 3 and No. 4 wrestlers at his weight division.
Guild wasn’t the only one celebrating significant victories in Kansas. Zach Loveless, ranked third nationally at 141 pounds, swept his dual appearances, going 5-0. His week included victories over a trio of top-10 opponents.
Colton Thornton, ranked seventh to begin the semester at 157 pounds, matched Loveless’ 5-0 dual performance. Thornton’s week included wins over the No. 2 and No. 11 wrestlers in his division.
“To go through those duals without a loss is really good for Colton and Zach,” said Zeigler.
The Trappers had others who also fared well. Colby Kloetzer, ranked eighth at 149 pounds nationally, finished 4-1, his only loss coming to the No. 5 wrestler at his weight. Cody Vichi (No. 3 at 125) and Diorian Coleman (No. 8 at 165) each finished 3-2 for the week.
“We were able to scatter a few wins at 174, 184 and 285, but we’ve been struggling all year at those upper weights,” Zeigler said. “Our strength was in those lower weights. We were 25-5 in our first six weight divisions. I really feel our first six could be as good as any in the country.”
Worth mentioning is the fact that five of those six Trapper lightweights are freshmen.
“That group can carry us a long way at nationals,” said Zeigler. “Even not doing that well in the last four weights, I only think there’s about three teams in the nation that can beat us in duals. I feel pretty good with where we’re at.”
The Trappers were scheduled to return to action tonight (Tuesday) against the University of Great Falls, but that event has been canceled. The Trappers will face Montana State-Northern on Thursday in a 7:30 p.m. dual.