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If you happened to walk through Mantor hall in the past few weeks, you may have noticed something unusual... read more

Lopers grapple their way to the top
Andrew Tidwell
Antelope Staff
Photo Courtesy of Coach BauerSenior Ben Hohensee gets riding time against Tyler Demutt of Marion Military Institute. He is currently ranked eighth and looking to make a title run as the Lopers host the 2011 Division II National Championships in the Health and Sports Center.

Team works hard to end season strong


The UNK grapplers have lived up to their preseason rankings with only three losses, all to ranked teams: Omaha (1), St. Cloud State (3) and Grand Canyon State (8).  

The biggest rivalry in Division II Wrestling ended with the Mavericks of Omaha winning all but two matches over the Lopers in their dual in January. According to NCAA.com, the Lopers are currently picked to end the Mav’s three-year winning streak at the National Championships.  

The RMAC Conference is renowned for its top-notch wrestling, currently holding three ranked teams: UNK (4), Western State (7) and Adams State (12).  As the move to the MIAA approaches, the scenery of a tough wrestling schedule doesn’t change much with the NCAA powerhouse UNO as our continued instate rivalry.  

Heading into the last dual of the season on Feb. 17, the Lopers face their eventual conference rivals from Fort Hays State, currently ranked 15th.  The top matches to watch will be with Hepburn, currently ranked second at 149 pounds, when he faces Mitchel, ranked sixth.  Coming off minor injuries, Hepburn has still wrestled well and looks to make a championship run in our own Health and Sports Center this March.  “I feel ready to win.  Having those few weeks off between Regionals and Nationals will be a good chance for me to heal up and get ready to make a run at the championships,” said Hepburn after his win in Gunnison last week.  

Senior Ben Hohensee has moved around in the rankings, topping out at third nationally. He is currently ranked eighth and was edged out in overtime against third-ranked Alexander from Western State. Hohensee said, “Well, he got me in the OT, but we’ll meet again in Regional’s. I’ll get my shot again and have a different outcome next time.”

The Lopers will be hosting Fort Hays State University Thursday Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Health and Sports Center.


 

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