Courtesy: UGF Sports Information
GREAT FALLS, Mont. – Three ranked NAIA teams and two ranked NCAA Division II teams headlines the lineup for the 2016 Battle of the Rockies Duals while The Battle of the Rockies Open will feature wrestlers from 18 different schools ranging from NCAA Division I to junior college and club levels. Both the duals and open will be the largest ever for the annual wrestling event hosted by the University of Great Falls.
The duals will take place on Friday, December 2 starting at 10:30 a.m. in the McLaughlin Center and features 10 different teams, and 16 total duals. Of the 10 teams, six are NAIA schools, with (4) Oklahoma City, (7) MSU-Northern, and (11) Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) as the three ranked teams. The other four NAIA teams are UGF, Embry-Riddle (Ariz.), and Eastern Oregon University, all of whom are receiving votes in the Top-20 poll.
Two of the three NCAA teams traveling to Great Falls, are ranked in the Division II poll. The highest ranked is (T8) McKendree (Ill.) followed by (T19) Simon Fraser. The third is Minot State (N.D.). The tenth and final team to join the pool will be Northwest College (Wyo.) representing the NJCAA as a junior college. Each team will wrestle at least three duals.
While there are no cupcakes on anyone's schedule, UGF's will be about as challenging as it gets. The day starts against (4) Oklahoma City at 1:30 p.m. The two teams wrestled in last year's Battle of the Rockies with the Stars defeating the Argos 37-7. It doesn't get any easier, as UGF will end that match and go right into a dual against (T8) McKendree who beat UGF 28-9 last year. (11) Linsey Wilson will be UGF's third and final opponent of the day, and by rankings the easiest. That dual is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Of the day's 16 matches, four will feature ranked teams on both sides of the mat. The marquee NAIA matchup will be (4) Oklahoma City vs. (7) MSU-Northern at 3:00 p.m. On the NAIA side, the best match will be (T8) McKendree vs. (T19) Simon Fraser at 4:30 p.m.
The Battle of Rockies Open will also be the biggest in the event's history with over 210 individuals scheduled to wrestle at C.M. Russell High School. Those 210 wrestlers represent 18 teams, from NCAA DI Boise State, to club teams from Montana Western and Montana Tech among others.
UGF won two weight classes in 2015, with seniors Luke Schlosser and Taylor Vaughan taking first at 125 and 184 respectively. Both of those wrestlers have since graduated, and with the event's deepest talent pool ever, the Argos will look toward its talented freshman class for first place finishes in 2016.
The open will start at 9:00 a.m.
Mat 1 (Main Gymnasium)
10:30 am – (RV) Eastern Oregon vs. (T8) McKendree (Ill.)
Noon – (RV) Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) vs. (11) Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)
1:30 pm – (RV) Great Falls vs. (4) Oklahoma City
3:00 pm – (RV) Great Falls vs. (T8) McKendree (Ill.)
4:30 pm – (RV) Eastern Oregon vs. (4) Oklahoma City
6:00 pm – (RV) Great Falls vs. (11) Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)
Mat 2 (Main Gymnasium)
10:30 am – (4) Oklahoma City vs. (RV) Embry Riddle (Ariz.)
Noon – (T8) McKendree (Ill.) vs. Minot State (N.D.)
1:30 pm – (7) MSU-Northern vs. (11) Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)
3:00 pm – (7) MSU-Northern vs. (4) Oklahoma City
4:30 pm – (T8) McKendree (Ill.) vs. (T19) Simon Fraser
6:00 pm – (7) MSU-Northern vs. Minot State (N.D.)
Mat 3 (Harold & Carmen Poulsen Fitness Center)
Noon – (RV) Eastern Oregon vs. Northwest College (Wyo.)
1:30 pm – (T19) Simon Fraser vs. Northwest College (Wyo.)
3:00 pm – Minot State (N.D.) vs. (T19) Simon Fraser
4:30 pm – (RV) Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) vs. Northwest College (Wyo.)