Colorado Mesa Mavericks Sending Four to NCAAs06 Mar 2017
David Jahnke (Assistant Sports Information Director)
GOLDEN, Colo. – Colorado Mesa will send four wrestlers to the NCAA National Tournament after today's (Feb. 25) day two action at the NCAA Super Region West Tournament hosted by Colorado Mines.
Daniel Salazar defeated his former Palisade High School teammate Justin Ray 9-3 in the consolation semifinal to punch his ticket to the NCAA Tournament at 141 pounds. Salazar fell to Peter Cunningham of Cal Baptist 3-2 to settle for fourth place. Salazar will be making his third appearance at the National Tournament.
Sophomore Jason Buhr will be making his first appearance at the NCAA Championships in two weeks. Buhr was forced to wrestle a true fourth-place match with Ouachita Baptist's Tyler Mann. The La Jara, Colo. native was put to his back early in the match but fought off and turned around and pinned Mann at the 4:59 point of the bout.
Buhr defeated Colorado Mines' Keenan Willits 6-4 in the consolation semifinals earlier in the day to earn a spot in the 3rd/4th place match.
Junior Bruno Nicoletti placed fourth at 174 pounds after defeating CSU-Pueblo's Kyle Bateman 4-1 in the consolation semifinals before falling to Chadron State's Chance Helmick 9-1 in the third-place bout.
It will be Nicoletti's first appearance at the NCAA Championships.
133 pounder Juaquin Olivas took the longest way possible to qualifying for the NCAA Championships. Olivas lost his first bout of the tournament and worked his way all the way back to a fourth-place finish.
Olivas defeated Chadron State's Taylor Summers, who is nationally ranked and the RMAC Champion at 133 pounds, 3-2 before falling to Martin Ramirez for third-place.
Senior Austin Gaun fell to Western State's Konnor Schmidt 9-4 and had to settle for fifth-place.
Colorado Mesa finished in sixth place as a team with 57 points. The NCAA Championships begin on March 10 in Birmingham, Ala.
NCAA NATIONAL TOURNAMENT
Colorado Mesa will send four wrestlers to the NCAA Tournament this season. Cal Baptist is sending a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and region high seven wrestlers to the tournament while Nebraska-Kearney is sending six wrestlers. Everyone else in the region is sending five or less. The top eight wrestlers in each weight at the National Championships will earn All-American status.
Sophomore 133 pounder Juaquin Olivas worked his way into the National Tournament the hard way. Olivas dropped his first bout of the regional tournament and worked his way all the way back to place fourth. He defeated Chadron State's Taylor Summers, a nationally ranked wrestler, to earn a spot in the third-fourth match. The Tempe, Ariz. native will take on Michael Labry of Ashland, a regional tournament winner, who is 31-1 on the season.
Senior Daniel Salazar is making his third trip to the NCAA Tournament. The 141 pounder made the semifinals of the regional tournament before falling to eventual champion Brandon Ball of Fort Hays State. He came back through and made the third-fourth matchup before settling for fourth place. Salazar will take on regional champion Chris Eddins (27-9) of Pitt Johnstown in his opening match. Interesting note about his bracket is, no one besides Salazar is ranked in his quarter of the bracket.
Sophomore Jason Buhr is making his first trip to NCAAs. Buhr made the semifinals of the regional tournament before falling in a closely contested bout to top seeded Calvin Ochs of Nebraska-Kearney. The La Jara, Colo. native bounced back to place fourth but he had to wrestle in a true fourth-place match with an opponent from Ouachita Baptist. Buhr was on his back being pinned before reversing his opponent and pinning him. He will take on regional champion Isaiah White (20-2) of Notre Dame Ohio who upset the No. 1 ranked 165 pounder Frank Mizia of Mercyhurst in the region championship.
Junior Bruno Nicoletti is the final Maverick in the NCAA Tournament at 174 pounds. Nicoletti, a first-timer to the NCAAs, fell in the region semifinal to Western State's Brandon Supernaw in overtime but fought back to place fourth. Nicoletti will have an interesting draw as he takes on Adam Cooling (32-2) of Minnesota State, an opponent he has already faced this season. The Aurora, Colo. native lost in overtime to Cooling at the Tracy Borah Duals in early January.