Wyoming whomps SDSU in season finale

John Green

An all-out victory in a sport is a wonderful event.  But for every dominating victory, a devastating loss is also present.

The SDSU wrestling team experienced its own devastating loss  Thursday night in Frost Arena, being swept by the University of Wyoming, 45-0 on senior night.

Wyoming, ranked 7th nationally, improved to a record of 9-3 (5-0 in the Western Wrestling Conference), while the Jacks slide to 4-9 overall and 0-6 in conference.  Thursday’s dual match marked the end of the regular season for SDSU.

Throughout the match, there were brief moments of glory on the side of the Jackrabbits, including Nick Flynn’s match, which went down to the wire before going into overtime and losing 7-2, once riding time factored in.  Although Flynn, the lone senior on the team, did not win his match, he felt that there were still some positives to be taken away from the meet.

“I just wanted to give it one last, hard fight.  It’s been an enjoyable experience for me, and now I’m looking ahead to Regionals,” Flynn said.

The Jackrabbit wrestlers could not find a foot to stand on, as they dropped all ten of their matches, four of which were determined by fall.  Wyoming boasted some of the top wrestlers in the country, including senior Joe LeBlanc, the number one wrestler in the country for the 184 pound weight class.

“When you’re that good, you’re just that good,” said head coach Jason Liles.  “They were pretty salty.”

Despite the numbers on the scoreboard, Liles felt that the team has shown marked improvement this whole season, and especially in the last two weeks.

“We’re miles ahead of where we were even a year ago.  These last four meets have been real close, and we were in position to win the majority of them,” he said.

The Jacks will now turn their focus to the looming West Regionals, hosted in Cedar Falls, Iowa on March 4th.  SDSU has several wrestlers that could make some noise at the regional level, including juniors Aaron Pickrel and Dustin Walraven.  For these final weeks of practice, the Jackrabbits will be focused on getting healthier and being rested for the match.  In this time off, the team hopes to find more motivation and enthusiasm for their final competition of the season.

“We have to bring our A-game,” Flynn said. “We’re a really talented team; we’ve just had trouble doing the right thing on the mat at the right time.  When the lights go on, we’re going to have to put it all together.”