LARAMIE, Wyo. — Adams State action at the season-opening Wyoming Cowboy Open on Saturday was highlighted by a first-place finish from senior Luke McPeek (Albuquerque, N.M.) in the Elite 197-pound bracket, as well as a first-place showing from unattached ASC wrestler junior Ryan Fillingame (Victorville, Calif.) at 133 pounds at War Memorial Fieldhouse.
The Grizzlies’ trip to Laramie marked their first of six tournaments this season before opening the dual meet portion of their schedule on Jan. 12.
McPeek, a 2-time NCAA Division II All-American at 197 pounds with sixth place finishes in 2009 and 2010, placed third in the Elite 197 bracket at the Cowboy Open last season. This year, McPeek opened his day with a second round win over the University of Wyoming’s Alfonso Hernandez by a 6-4 score following a first round bye.
He followed that up with a tight 7-6 win over Adam Fager in the championships semifinals before making quick work of Montana State-Northern wrestler Evan Hinebauch with a pin in a minute and 20 seconds for first place and 3-0 record on the day.
Following a first-round forfeit over Scott Schlosser of Great Falls (Mont.), Fillingame reeled off three straight decisions for his Elite 133-pound first place finish.
Fillingame topped Nebraska-Kearney’s Kazuhiro Fujinawa 5-1, and went on to top Jake Eitzen and Zach Zehner, both of the University of Wyoming. He topped Eitzen 8-6 in the championship semis, and won by a score of 8-7 over Zehner in the first place bout.
Junior Taylor Stam’s (Parker, Colo.) fourth place finish in the Elite heavyweight bracket started with a bye and a 5-1 decision over Chadron State’s RJ Boylan.
He then fell, 5-2, in the championship semis to Connor Medbery, and advanced to the third place match after winning by injury forfeit against Boise Stat’s Chris Givens. His day concluded with a 5-3 loss to the Cowboy’s Leland Pfeiffer to take fourth place with a 2-2 record.
Junior Max Ortega (Rio Rancho, N.M.) and sophomore Casey Lynn (Cortez, Colo.) each put up four wins on Saturday.
Ortega, wrestling in the Elite 149 bracket, ended the day 4-2 and scored wins over four Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) foes. He opened with a 9-4 decision over Nick Stahler from CSU-Pueblo before coming up just short in a 9-8 loss against Raufeon Stots in his second round match.
He followed that up with a pin in 2:05 against Colorado Mines’ McLain Cowan and a 12-5 decision over the Orediggers’ Mikie Burgess. His final win of the day came against Nebraska-Kearney’s Brock Coutu by an 11-8 tally, before falling in a consolation fourth round match against Myles Mazurkiewicz of Great Falls.
Lynn, who placed second after scoring falls in the Amateur 141-pound bracket last year, was in action at 149 pounds this season.
He began his day in the second round after a bye, and defeated Spencer Blew by major decision, 10-2, before losing by fall to Western State’s Kurtis Ramsay in 2:54 in the third round.
Lynn bounced back to win his first three matches in the consolation bracket, topping teammate Jacob Deaguero (Commerce City, Colo.) by technical fall, pinning Western State’s John Burns in 1:51 and scoring an 1-4 win over Chadron State’s C.J. Clarke.
But his day would come to a close with a loss by major decision to David Turnbull, 16-2, in the consolation semis.
Sophomore Jerry Huff (Broomfield, Colo.), ranked sixth at 125 pounds in Division II entering this season, advanced to the consolation semifinals on Saturday.
Huff fell in his opening bout against Tyler Cox of the Cowboy Wrestling Club, before a bye, an 8-6 decision over Jade Rauser and a win by forfeit. He then dropped a 4-0 decision against Danny Luttrell.
The Grizzlies will return to action on Saturday at the Nebraska-Kearney Holiday Inn Open.