Supernaw’s sights set on big stage
Times Staff Writer
Western Wrestling — Two technical falls, a third-place tournament finish and the seventh-place ranking in Division II. These are all feats that Western State Colorado University wrestler Brandon Supernaw has accomplished so far this season.
“I attribute a lot of my success to my coaches and teammates,” said Supernaw. “Without them pushing me every day, I wouldn’t be the wrestler I am today.”
Supernaw also attributes his success to his parents, who gave him “the tools to succeed at the wrestling and academic levels.”
Coming off a season in which Supernaw only won one match in the Division II National Championships, his hopes are high for the 2017-18 campaign. Specifically, Supernaw is vying to emerge as the top DII wrestler in the 174-pound weight class.
With two technical falls already this year, Supernaw has begun to accomplish one of his goals of “scoring more points and pushing the pace.” He also finished in third at the Holiday Inn Open at University of Nebraska-Kearney last month.
While Supernaw has had early success this season, he knows that there is always room for improvement — and that there are six other wrestlers in front of him in the rankings.
Still, Supernaw is focused more on helping his team achieve their goal of going undefeated in duals this season, winning the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference title and finishing on top at regionals.
Mountaineers remain undefeated
Western took a step closer to achieving those goals Friday as they won seven matches in the home-opening dual against Chadron State College. Western defeated the Eagles 30-11 to remain undefeated in duals this season.
Trenton Piatt set the tone for the dual, pinning his Eagle opponent in the second period to give Western a 6-0 lead.
However, the Eagles came soaring back, winning the next two bouts to take a 7-6 lead. It would be the last lead for Chadron.
Western won the following three matches by decision and was ahead 15-7 before Supernaw’s 174-pound bout.
Supernaw made quick work of his opponent and earned a 17-1 technical fall to increase Western's lead over Chadron to 20-7.
Ladd Bunker then proceeded to earn an 11-1 major decision at 184 pounds to give Western a 24-7 lead.
After a forfeit at 197 pounds, Western had won the dual.
Nine in the top five
On Sunday, Western placed nine wrestlers in the top five at the Colorado Mesa University Open with three Mountaineers winning their weight classes.
Western's Colby Duncan at 125 pounds won his bracket, while teammates Jason Slaughter at 157 pounds and Ben Price at 197 pounds also finished first.
Duncan earned bonus points in three of his four matches. The 125-pounder earned a pin in his first match, which was followed by two major decisions. Duncan won the 125-pound bracket with a 15-11 decision victory over a Chadron wrestler.
Slaughter used two falls and a decision to win the 157-pound bracket. After a first-round fall, Slaughter won a 3-2 decision. He then won the tournament with a first-period fall.
Ben Price won all four of his bouts by falls, wrestling unattached. All four came in the first period, including a fall in 24 seconds, which is the fastest fall by a Mountaineer this season.
Michael Thelen was the only Western wrestler to finish second. Thelen, a 165-pound wrestler, won his first match with a fall in the third period. Thelen would then win the next match by injury.
Finishing third was Western's 285-pounder, Michael Henry. After losing his first match, Henry came back with a fall to head into the third-place bout. Henry won in sudden victory to earn a third-place finish.
Diego Calderon and Travis Bradford each finished fourth in their weight classes. Calderon won both his matches by way of fall.
Western's Michael Seijo and David Traynor placed fifth for Western. Seijo won two matches, both by decision, while Traynor won by fall and major decision.
Western returns to the mat on Saturday, Dec. 16 at the Midwest Classic in Indianapolis.
(Brandon Warr can be reached at 970.641.1414 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)