By: Garrett Osterode/GCU Staff
In wrestling, success can come in many ways. For the Grand Canyon University Club Wrestling team, that success came by way of a victory via pin by Marcus Lopez over Cole Waskey of Colorado State University.
The Lopes traveled to Golden, Colorado this past weekend for their first National Collegiate Wrestling Association event taking on the likes of Colorado State, Colorado Mesa University, University of Colorado-Pueblo, and Chadron State.
Out of the five Lopes who traveled, two advanced to the championship round: Lopez in the 149-pound weight class and Michael Slivinski in the 285-pound weight class. Slivinski was leading his match, 8-4, before being pinned by Colorado State’s Blaine Nye.
Though the Lopes don’t have the collegiate wrestling experience that a lot of their competitors have, GCU Head Coach Mickey Nunez was impressed by their efforts.
“We had a great tournament,” said Nunez. “We are right where we want to be at this point in the season. I’m excited to see the level we are at and where we will be by the end of the year.”
The Lopes entire 12-person roster is made up of solely freshmen and sophomores, each of which is getting their first taste of collegiate wrestling experience.
“Most of the mistakes we made are all because of inexperience,” said Nunez. “Talent-wise, we are right there.”
The Lopes will be back in action for the Rocky Mountain Nationals in Bullhead City on March 7, and despite the newness of the team, Nunez remained confident of GCU’s chances.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if 90% of our team made the cut,” said Nunez. “We just need to cut down on a few mistakes.”
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