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The Antelope

UNK dominates at annual midwest duals

Sam Turner looks to get a pin against his opponent in a dual with Western Colorado.


After a disappointing 2-2 showing at the NWCA National Duals, UNK wrestling got their season back on track at the Midwest Duals January 25 at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds. The Lopers went 3-0 on the day and only lost three matches.

“Coming off National Duals I think this was a good turnaround to regain some confidence,” said UNK coach Dalton Jensen. “Today was the first time our full regional lineup was together. Getting our core ten guys that will be competing for us down in postseason was really important. They went out and put on some dominating performances, only losing three matches on the day.”

All three of UNK’s losses came against regional opponent Western Colorado.

Off the bat, things did not look good for the Lopers at the 125-pound weight class. No.10 Patrick Allis got an early takedown on No.1 Josh Portillo (Clarion, IA) and held on to the momentum the rest of the match in a 10-4 decision.

“He is a very tough opponent, he actually beat the national champion in my bracket last year,” said Portillo. “At the UNK Open in November, I beat him by tech fall in the first period. It is not that underestimated him, it’s just sometimes it happens like that. To be honest, I got very tired in the match which is weird because my conditioning has been getting better and better.”

After falling behind 3-0, Wesley Dawkins (Lincoln) came back with a pin over Cody Fatzinger at 4:34 in the 133-pound match.

No. 11 Jonathan Killingsworth (Lincoln) faced Jason Hanenberg at 141. Killingsworth was taken down early and struggled to gain the points back in an 8-3 defeat.

With the score tied at 6-6, UNK won the next three weight classes. Sam Turner (Colorado Springs, CO) earned a 6-0 decision at 149, Jacob Wasser (Kintnersville, PA) won by major decision 12-2 at 157, and 165 No.2 Matt Malcom (Glenwood, Iowa) won by major decision 11-2 to create separation in the team standings.

Talon Seitz (Hilton Head, SC) battled hard against No. 12 Jimmy Laconte but fell short in an 8-4 loss at 174.

No. 4 Anthony Mancini (Middletown, DE) and Andrew Demos (Lake Villa, IL) both pinned their opponents at 184 and 197.

In the heavyweight matchup between No. 5 Jarrod Hinrichs (Geneva) and Samme De Seriere, it was even at zero through two periods. In the third, Hinrichs started on the bottom and earned an escape point. He tacked on three more points to win by a final of 4-0.

Overall, the Lopers won seven matches against the Mountaineers and picked up the 32-9 dual victory.

“Coming down the stretch, if we want to be a National Championship team, we can be a little bit greedy,” Jensen said. “Those three matches were big; they were regional competition

and they were flip matches. They lost them today, but maybe those three guys will have the opportunity in Kearney to beat those guys at the end of February.”

In their next two dual matchups on the day, UNK handled Northwest Kansas Tech and New Mexico Highlands with ease. They beat the Mavericks 56-0 and the Cowboys 45-6.

Down the stretch against Highlands, the Lopers won by pin in three of the final five matches.

Next up for UNK, is a rematch with No. 6 Central Oklahoma at the Health and Sports Center at 2 p.m. Saturday. The Broncos beat the Lopers 18-13 at the National Duals Jan. 11.

“I’m excited about that opportunity,” Jensen said. “I think we can really flip the script on how that dual turned out at National Duals. They’re a really good team, I really respect those coaches and I’m looking forward to competing with them.”

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