UGF’s Schlosser and Vaughn Win Battle of the Rockies Titles - News, Sports and Weather

UGF’s Schlosser and Vaughn Win Battle of the Rockies Titles

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In the second day of the Battle of the Rockies, UGF’s Luke Schlosser and Taylor Vaughn both earned championships in the open tournament at 125 and 184 respectively.

The open did not include team scores, but provided a high level of competition to individuals, with wrestlers from four top-10 NAIA schools, three NCAA Division II schools, and a hand full of wrestlers from NCAA Division I Boise State.

Despite that stiff competition, the Argo’s top wrestlers (2) Luke Schlosser followed up a 3-0 day at the Battle of the Rockies Duals by defending his 2014-15 Battle of the Rockies title. The senior won by fall in the quarterfinals, by a 9-6 decision in the semifinal, and a 9-1 major decision in the final.

UGF’s other first-place finisher was (8) Taylor Vaughn. After a 10-1 major decision win n the quarterfinal, the senior faced Andrew Krawulski of McKendree University, an opponent he lost to by decision the previous day. This time, Vaughn got the better of Krawulski, winning by a 7-6 decision in the semifinals. With Krawulski out of the way, Vaughn earned a confident 6-3 decision in the finals to claim the 184 title.

“Our leaders, Luke and Taylor showed exactly why they’re leaders. They continue to improve and impress us.” said assistant coach Ty Vinson, who took over much of the Argo’s coaching duties for the day while head coach Caleb Schaeffer ran the event.

The Argo’s other top wrestler, (5) Khaldoon Rashid faced a loaded 165 bracket that included the top ranked NAIA wrestler. The junior lost his first match, a tightly contested 7-6 decision to the eventual champion, but battled back to take fifth place. Rashid pinned two opponents and won another match by technical fall (18-3).

Vinson said he was also impressed with the tournament performance of senior Michael Ayala, who followed up Vaughn’s first-place finish at 184 with a fourth-place finish of his own. Ayala won three straight matches after a quarterfinal loss to get into the third place match. He didn’t everything but win that contest too, battling to a 4-2 decision loss in double overtime.

“Overall, we were average today but we expect more than average for our guys,” Vinson said. “Some of our young guys are continually improving though, which is good.”

Some of the team’s other top finishers were sophomore Clinton Garvin, who took fourth at 133, and sophomore Mathew Hopkins, who took third at 197.

With their own major tournament over, the Argos will get a long break before starting up the season again on January 1 and 2 for the Menlo Duals and Open.

“We have a long time before we wrestle next, so we really need to stay focused over the break and be ready to compete in the second half of the season,” Vinson said. 

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