“Ben really had a breakout week,” said Trapper head coach Jim Zeigler. “He's starting to gain some momentum. He's getting his confidence as a collegiate wrestler and figuring out the things he needs to do in order to be successful …
NWC's Ben Price leads way in fourthThe eighth-ranked Northwest College wrestling team enjoyed a banner day at the University of Northern Colorado Old Chicago Open tournament last weekend. The Trappers placed four competitors among the top six. Highlighting the team's performance was Boise freshman Ben Price at 197 pounds. After three consecutive wins to begin his day, Price dropped an 11-5 decision in the semifinals. After a win on the consolation side of the bracket, Price came out on the short side of an 11-7 decision in the third-place match.
“Ben really had a breakout week,” said Trapper head coach Jim Zeigler. “He's starting to gain some momentum. He's getting his confidence as a collegiate wrestler and figuring out the things he needs to do in order to be successful at this level and I'm really proud of him.”
Zeigler noted Price has won nine of his last 13 matches in a Trapper uniform.
Each of the Trappers' other place-winners finished sixth. Jesse Hillhouse (133) advanced to the semifinals before losing in overtime by a 2-1 count. Nick Petersen (184) won three matches on the day, as did teammate Sears Tiernan (285). In all three cases, Zeigler made the decision to withdraw the wrestlers from late matches on the back side of the bracket.
“It was a decision I made after talking with the kids,” said Zeigler, “It basically came down to the fact that we'd done enough wrestling for the week. We had a dual two days before the tournament and then each of them had wrestled a number of matches already in the tournament. It's an open event, so there's no team score to worry about, so we just made the decision to protect those kids from the risk of injury.”
One wrestler notably absent from the top six in Colorado was freshman 174-pounder Keithen Cast. Cast, who entered the tournament unbeaten as a collegiate grappler, suffered his first taste of defeat, losing in overtime. After winning convincingly on the consolation side of the bracket, Cast was again the victim of an overtime decision to finish 1-2 on the day.
“Keithen made a tactical error in his first overtime loss that cost him the match and it wasn't his best weekend,” said Zeigler. “It's good though that this happened early. It gets some of the pressure off of him and he can get back to doing what he needs to do to win matches.”
Jake Budd (133), Bobby Robbins (149), and Zach Oppenheimer (157) all finished 2-2 at the tournament for the Trappers. Timber Holmquist (165) was 1-2 on the day while Jeremy Luna (141) and Casey Walbert (141) also competed.
The Trappers will take the Thanksgiving weekend off before resuming action on the mats on Dec. 3-4 at the University of Great Falls. Northwest College will dual one or more opponents on Friday, Dec. 3. The team will spend Saturday, Dec. 4, competing in the UGF Open tournament.