Kearney, Neb. – The-second ranked Nebraska-Kearney wrestling team won 46 matches and placed eight in the top four at the Wyoming Cowboy Open Saturday in Laramie. In the “Elite” Division, Geneva junior Jarrod Hinrichs placed first at 285 pounds. He started the season ranked third in NCAA Division II. Next, in the “Amateur” Division and completing unattached, Gretna true freshman Tyler Cunningham went 5-0 with two falls to win at 157 pounds. UNK ended the long day with 19 falls, four tech falls and two majors. Wrestling in their first collegiate matches yielded 12 falls for the Lopers true freshmen class. Besides Hinrichs and Cunningham, those cracking the top four in the Elite Division were Iowa sophomores J.J. Clark (4th/184 lbs.), Matt Malcom (2nd/157 lbs.) and Josh Portillo (3rd/125 lbs.), Lincoln sophomore Jonathan Killingsworth (3rd/141 lbs.), Pennsylvania junior Jacob Wasser (4th/149 lbs.) and Gretna senior Brady Radik (4th/197 lbs.). Cunningham won his weight class after receiving a first round bye. He reeled off three wins by decision and then pinned his last two opponents in a combined six minutes. He bested Air Force Academy’s Trey Brisker to place first. Hinrichs wasn’t as his dominate as his three victories each came by decision and by a combined score of 24-11. He got by opponents from Division I Air Force and Utah Valley in the semifinals and finals.
Ranked first in Division II at 157 pounds, Malcom beat two USAFA Falcons before falling to Wyoming junior Dewey Krueger, 5-2, in the finals. A few classes lower, Portillo fell to Sidney Flores of Air Force, 6-2, after starring his day with a 17-2 tech fall. Ranked third nationally, he rebounded from the setback to major and pin his last two opponents to finish third. Killingsworth had a 33 second fall among his four wins. He went 1-1 vs. Wyoming Cowboys and then beat Air Force’s Lanny Petersen, 12-7, to place third at 141 pounds. One class higher Wasser had 38 second fall among his three wins. In the third place bout against Wyoming’s Jed Loveless, he was pinned at the 9:14 mark. In the upper weights, Clark beat two USAFA Falcons before falling to Wyoming’s Carleless Looney, 6-2, in the 184 third place bout. Next, Radik came back from an opening round loss to win three straight matches and eventually came in fourth at 197 pounds. Finally, five UNK true freshmen each had two falls including Scott Fulsos (141 lbs./York) and Lee Herrington (285 lbs./Kearney H.S.). UNK has a very rare dual next Friday at Colorado Mesa in Grand Junction. The rest of the Lopers head over to Des Moines in Saturday for the Grand View Open.