UVU wrestling: Wolverine junior Josh Wilson qualifies for NCAA Championships

By James Warnick

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, March 5 2012 8:00 a.m. MST

In the consolation final, Garner jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead over SDSU's Dustin Walraven. Walraven then came back and made it close in the second but Garner got a late takedown and three-point near fall to win by major decision 15-6. The win gave Garner a third-place finish at his first-ever NCAA West Regional.

Smith, who earned the No. 3 seed at the tournament, received a first-round bye and began his day in the semis against the two seed from Northern Colorado in Gabe Burak. Smith gave Burak, who is ranked 10th in the country, a challenge, but in the end Burak picked up a 4-0 win over Smith to send the UVU redshirt freshman into the consolation bracket. Smith then advanced to the third-place match as he cruised to a 13-2 major decision win over AFA's Colby Kluesner.

Smith continued to take care of business in the consolation final by pinning UNI's Riley Banach in the center of the mat just 2:38 into the contest. The win gave Smith a third-place finish at his first-ever WWC Championships.

Schmalhaus picked up an easy first-round victory to make his way into the semis by pinning UNI's Onni Prestidge just 1:37 into the bout. The UVU redshirt sophomore, who earned the No. 3 seed for the tournament, took on the two-seeded Clayton Gable from Air Force in the semifinal. Gable took the upper hand in the contest and went on to defeat Schmalhaus 7-3 to send the UVU grappler into the wrestleback bracket.

In the consolation semis, Schmalhaus continued the UVU trend by advancing into the third-place bout with an 11-1 major decision victory over SDSU's Joe Rasmussen. In the consolation final Schmalhaus and NDSU's Tyler Johnson needed a sudden victory overtime period to determine a winner as they ended regulation tied 2-2. In overtime Johnson managed to take down Schmalhaus to win the bout 4-2 and give Schmalhaus a fourth-place finish.

After dropping his opening contest to the No. 2 seed, Trent Sprenkle of North Dakota State, Wolverine 125-pounder Christensen stayed alive with a big upset win over the No. 3 seed from South Dakota State, Aaron Pickrel. Christensen was trailing Pickrel 5-4 midway through the third when the UVU redshirt freshman caught Pickrel and pinned him (6:25). Christensen then followed it up with a 4-3 win over the four seed from UNI in Cruse Aarhus to reach the consolation final.

Christensen then found himself in one of the most entertaining matches of the day as he and AFA's Greg Rinker went back-and-forth the entire third-place bout. After numerous reversals for both Christensen and Rinker in the final period, Christensen found himself down a point with just seconds to go. The Wolverine redshirt freshman then looked to have picked up the tying escape point but the referee said that time had expired before the point was awarded, resulting in a 12-11 loss for Christensen and a fourth-place finish for the UVU wrestler.

Mangum, Chamberlain and Dennison too each lost their first matches of the day but all responded with wins in their next match to reach the consolation finals. Mangum held on to defeat UNC's Sam Bauer 5-3 and Chamberlain and Dennison did the same against SDSU's Nick Mart (2-0) and AFA's Jared Erickson (3-2), respectively.

In Mangum's third-place bout, he held a slight 1-0 advantage heading into the third period over the three seed from AFA in Tyler Untrauer. Untrauer then tied the contest with an escape point and took the lead with a takedown midway through the third. Mangum then escaped to trail by just one and was looking for a late takedown but couldn't get it as he fell 3-2 to place fourth.

In the 197-pound consolation final, Chamberlain took on the No. 2 seed Josh Mohr from Air Force. The UVU freshman gave Mohr a battle as it was close in the beginning, but in the end Mohr defeated Chamberlain 9-4 to give Chamberlain a fourth-place finish.

The freshman Dennison then took on the fourth-seeded Evan Knutson from NDSU in the heavyweight consolation final. Dennison scored the first point of the contest as he escaped Knutson's hold early in the second period and Knutson tied it up with an escape of his own in the beginning of the third. The contest headed to overtime and Knutson ended up getting an escape point in the second-tiebreaker period to win 2-1 and give Dennison a fourth-place finish.

Also competing for UVU and ending with 0-2 records on the day were 157-pounder Napoleon Aniciete and 184-pounder David Prieto.

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