Trapper wrestlers shine at NWC Open

Bray, Lowry win gold; Muratov takes silver

Posted 11/14/19

It was a strong showing for the Northwest College wrestling team at Saturday’s NWC Open, as the host team finished with a pair of titles and a runner-up against quality competition.

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Trapper wrestlers shine at NWC Open

Bray, Lowry win gold; Muratov takes silver

Posted

It was a strong showing for the Northwest College wrestling team at Saturday’s NWC Open, as the host team finished with a pair of titles and a runner-up against quality competition.

The freshman duo of Van Bray at 133 pounds and Brady Lowry at 145 pounds went undefeated in their respective weight classes to win titles, while redshirt freshman Majid Muratov placed second at 197 pounds. For the second week in a row, almost every Trapper who took to the mat on Saturday earned at least one win.

“I think the guys that were wrestling did a great job,” said NWC head coach Jim Zeigler. “I thought Van Bray in his first outing to win the tournament looked really good.”

Bray went 4-0, winning by a 6-4 decision over Montana State-Northern’s Nick Kunz in the 133-pound championship match.

Lowry was also 4-0, decisioning Jarren Komac of the University of Providence 9-0 for the 149-pound title. It was Lowry’s second straight tournament win and moved his record to 9-0 on the season.

“That’s big time,” Zeigler said. “We haven’t had a start like that in I couldn’t tell you how many years. He’s really looking good.”

Freshman Carson Pinske finished fourth at 141 pounds, posting a 2-2 record. He lost the third-place match by a 7-0 decision to North Idaho’s Alex Lopez.

Muratov’s second-place finish at 197 pounds was well-earned, with a 2-1 record against quality opponents.

Muratov decisioned North Idaho’s Hunter Gregerson 12-5 in the quarters, and followed that with a 8-7 decision over Hunter Lee from the University of Saskatchewan. He lost in the finals to MSU-Northern’s Isaac Bartel.

“That weight class [197 pounds] was the toughest weight class in the tournament,” Zeigler said. Bartel took second in the NAIA last year and “and he’s won this tournament three years in a row,” the coach said. Meanwhile, Gregerson “is the number one guy in the NJCAA, and Majid beat him. I felt like that was a really good performance,” Zeigler said.

Other Trappers who picked up wins at the Open included Devyn Mosteller and Dawson Barfuss, who both went 1-2 at 125 pounds; William Fish, 1-2 at 133 pounds; Porter Fox, 1-2 at 184 pounds and Tyson Carter, 1-2 at 184 pounds.

Carter won his opening match 10-4 over MSU-Northern’s Cody Golding, but was injured during the match; his two losses came by way of injury default.

“I think the other kids wrestled well,” Zeigler said. “Tyson [Carter] only wrestled one match and got hurt, but he wrestled well and won it. Devyn [Mosteller] had a pin and a win, Dawson Barfuss had a win — I’m hoping for a little more from him.”

The Trappers performed well despite some early-season injuries that have cast a pall over what is shaping up to be a promising season. Yair Moran, NWC’s starter at 165 pounds and a national-tournament qualifier last year, is out for the season. Because of the team’s lack of depth, especially in the higher weight classes, Moran isn’t an athlete Zeigler can replace. Further, freshman Christian Dean at 141 pounds was injured at the Cowboy Open two weeks ago in Laramie and was undergoing surgery Wednesday morning.

“We just don’t have the depth,” Zeigler said. “Christian [Dean]’s loss really hurts, because we had high expectations for him, along the same level of our other fantastic freshmen in Brady [Lowry] and Van [Bray].”

On top of the that, Carter and T.J. Frazier are both undergoing MRIs this week.

“It’s a struggle,” Zeigler said.

There is some good news, however, as star recruit and dual-sport athlete Jate Frost at 157 pounds has been cleared by doctors. He’s scheduled to make his first start at North Idaho in two weeks.

“We get one back, and we lose one,” Zeigler said. “It forces me to realign our goals for the year. I think we’re going to struggle at duals because of our lack of depth. With the school’s low enrollment, we’ve suffered as well, right along with the college. We’re trying to get creative in recruiting now.”

The Trappers have this weekend off, and will travel to Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho, Nov. 22-23 for matches against North Idaho College and Northeastern Junior College.

“I think we’re going to try and push those four or five individuals who are real stars to make some noise in the national tournament, try to get some All-Americans, hopefully get a couple of champs out of it,” Zeigler said. “That will help us for recruiting for next year. It’s still a building year for us.”

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