GOLDEN, Colo. -- Three Chadron State wrestlers participated in the final day of the NCAA West Super Region wrestling championships in Golden, Colorado, on Saturday. Taylor Summers and Cooper Cogdill ended their seasons with a fifth place finish, while junior Chance Helmick advanced to the NCAA Championships in Birmingham, Alabama on March 10-11.
All three began the day in the consolation semifinal rounds.
Helmick, a 2014 graduate of Beatrice and two time state champion, faced Miguel Barreras of Central Oklahoma, whom he was victorious over in a dual meet earlier in the season. Helmick allowed a takedown and a four-point nearfall to find himself in a six-point deficit in the first period. Nevertheless, he responded by escaping, getting a takedown of his own, and back points to close the gap to 6-5. In the third period he was relentless, flipping the score with an escape, another takedown, and a four-point nearfall to close out the match.
In the third place match, Helmick defeated Bruno Nicoletti of Colorado Mesa handily, recording a 9-1 major decision and earning a berth in the NCAA Championships.
It is the 49th consecutive season that a Chadron State wrestler will participate in a national championship tournament, going back to 1969.
Summers' day started with a difficult loss to Juaquin Olivas of Colorado Mesa, who was new opponent for the Eagle senior. Olivas put Summers in the 5th place match with a 3-2 decision.
Needing both a win for himself over Central Oklahoma's Blake Dauphin, and a win by Olivas in the third place match to stay alive, Summers delivered on his end with a 55-second pin of Dauphin. However, Olivas fell in the consolation final to Martin Ramirez of Adams State.
Cogdill had a more familiar matchup, getting Augustine DeSantis, whom he defeated two weeks ago at home in a dual. Cogdill got a single penalty point, called on DeSantis for Stalling, which was all he needed to move onto the third place match with a 1-0 decision.
In the next round he faced Paul Head of Cal Baptist, whom he previously defeated 8-2 in a dual meet. Head edged Cogdill 4-3 to win third place, but because he had not yet faced the winner of the fifth place match in the tourney, he wrestled a "true fourth" match against Christian Lance of Fort Hays State, who was the No. 3 seed entering the tournament.
In that one, Cogdill saw a promising situation quickly evaporate into a very tough loss. Tied 1-1 late in the third period, Cogdill took control of his opponent's left leg, and elevated it, with approximately 20 seconds remaining. He could not, however, topple the larger, stockier Lance, but instead shot for the supporting leg. With barely a second left, Lance was able to parry the shot and score a takedown of his own to win the final spot in the NCAA tournament.
The NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships are part of a larger event this year, called the NCAA Division II Championships Festival, encompassing several winter sport championships. The events are all hosted by the Birmingham Crossplex, in Birmingham, Ala., and will include CSC track and field athletes as well as Helmick, representing the wrestling team.