OREM — Fans got their first look at the 2013-14 Utah Valley University wrestling team Wednesday night at the annual intrasquad dual, and team green walked away victorious with a 26-20 win over team black.
The exhibition contest came down to the final match of the evening as the green team entered the bout with just a three-point lead. Freshman Abel Gomez (184 pounds) helped team green win the dual as he held on to defeat fellow freshman Ty Rosevear, 3-2.
"I was looking for intensity from our guys tonight and some of them still have ways to go," said head coach Greg Williams. "Despite that, I liked that a number of our guys got into the positions that we want but overall we've got to get better at creating our shots."
In all, 20 Wolverine wrestlers took part in Wednesday's intrasquad, and four recorded wins by fall. Senior 174-pounder Monte Schmalhaus as well as newcomers Rosevear, Jordan Karst (heavyweight) and Trevor Willson each picked up a victory via pin. Schmalhaus led the way with the fastest fall of the night, as he defeated freshman Aryton Almberg (197) in just 57 seconds.
Four other Wolverines won their bouts via major decision Wednesday, as senior Curtis Abner Cook (165) upended junior transfer Ross Taylor, 10-1; junior Ethan Smith (184) defeated Gomez, 10-2; junior Sam Mecham beat freshman Max Sultan, 11-1; and sophomore Chase Cuthbertson (157) bested fellow sophomore Logan Addis, 10-2.
Returning NCAA Qualifier Jade Rauser, who is ranked 13th on the InterMat Preseason Poll at 125 pounds, also picked up a win as he beat redshirt freshman Bracken Nipko by decision, 6-2. In a battle of upper weights, sophomore Derek Thomas (197) picked up a 4-0 victory over junior David Prieto.
Addis and freshman Koleton Hardy recorded the other two wins on the night as they each won one of their two matches by decision.Comment on this story
"I was anxious to see how a couple of matches would turn out," Williams said. "I'm excited about what Derek Thomas can do this season after his win over David tonight. I was also looking forward to watching both Trevor Willson and Bracken Nipko and I liked what I saw from both of them."
Also seeing time on the mat Wednesday were senior Avery Garner (141) and freshman Dalton Brady (133). With both nursing minimal injuries, the two took part in a drill match where they showed off some of their moves against one another.
The Wolverines now look ahead to Saturday when they'll officially begin their season at the Cowboy Open in Laramie, Wyo. The open tournament will feature wrestlers from 20 different teams, and action will begin at Wyoming's War Memorial Fieldhouse at 9 a.m. Following Saturday's season-opening tournament, UVU will head to Grand Junction, Colo., on Nov. 9, to participate at the Colorado Mesa Open.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.