Full Blue Hawk recap HERE
HASTINGS, NEB.- Eighteen Blue Hawk grapplers took to the mat to begin their season at the Cusatis Open hosted by Hastings College. Three Blue Hawks reached the podium in the tournament: Payson Dirk finished second, Gresh Jones finished third, and Devan Williams finished fourth.
Dirk, a Junior in the 197-pound bracket, was able to win his first two matches by way of fall. In the semifinal match Dirk's opponent, Jace Lacaille, was forced to take a medical forfeit, sending Dirk to the final. In the final, Dirk met Northern Colorado's Jamarcus Grant. Grant was able to edge off Dirk in a 2-0 decision for the title.
Blue Hawk Sophomore, Jones also competed strong in the tournament, finishing third at 133-pounds. Jones fell in his second-round match, forcing him to battle through the consolation bracket. The Sidney, Mont. native strung together four straight wins, including two falls. In the third-place match, Jones went back and forth with Colorado School of Mines' Jake Woods, ultimately taking a 12-10 decision.
Devan Williams was the third Blue Hawk to finish amongst the top-four. Williams placed fourth in the 174-pound weight class. Like his teammate Jones, Williams dropped his second match and had to traverse through the consolation bracket. Williams also tallied two more falls and a decision, putting himself in the consolation final. Williams fell short there, losing to Colorado School of Mines' Drew Hinkle in a 6-3 decision.
Blue Hawk Freshman Taner Stone saw success in his first collegiate competition. Stone, at 157-pounds, dropped his first match in an 8-5 decision. He then recovered in the consolation rounds, winning three matches, two coming by way of fall. Stone fell short in his fifth match, a 11-9 decision.
Blue Hawks Tanner Borneman (141-pounds) and Glen Anderson (125-pounds) each finished in the fifth/sixth place spots respectively.
The Cusatis Open did not tally team scores.
The Blue Hawks will roll out the mats in Scott Gym for their first home duals Friday, January 12. The double-header begins with a 5:00 PM dual against Montana State University-Northern, followed by a dual against Minot State University. The wrestling will continue on Saturday with the Tyler Plummer Classic at 9:00 AM in Wienbergen Gym.