Placing first in their tri-dual at home, the Dixie State University wrestling club defeated the University of Utah and the College of Southern Nevada on Feb. 16.
The Red Storm came ready to fight in the dual, where they only lost a total of two matches.
“All [the wrestlers] dominated and did a nice job overall,” head coach Brian Pace said.
Pace said their 125-pounder, Ty Mangum, a sophomore business major from St. George, is looking much better and stood out to him that in the tournament.
“Neither University of Utah and College of Southern Nevada had a 125-pound[wrestler], so I went up a weight class,” Mangum said. “I wrestled College of Southern Nevada first and was winning until the second period.”
Mangum said he was slammed down by his opponent and knocked out. He went back in and ended up losing by two points. He then wrestled a member of the University of Utah in a shorter match, where he took his opponent down and ended up winning 8-5.
DSU goes on to a bigger dual, the West Coast Dual, on Feb. 23 where it will match up against the University of Southern California, College of Southern Nevada, University of Utah, and California State University, Los Angeles.
“I am looking forward to that dual to get a better look at what the competition will be like at regionals the following week and to just wrestle and have a good time,” Mangum said.
Regionals will be held at California Baptist University in Riverside, Calif., and it will consist of all eight teams in the conference.
Pace said in order to make it that far, the team needs to work on better riding time, controlling opponents on the mat for the majority of the time, and improve on getting out from underneath the opponent. He said they also need to work on controlling their time and keeping their feet moving as well as being active and physical.
“They are a good group of kids and they enjoy practice,” Pace said. “They come out pretty dedicated, and we will be pushing out a little more because we have one more week to go.”
Pace said they have a few strong teams in Dixie’s conference, but he is excited about one in particular.
Dixie has California Baptist University, which is ranked No. 1 nationally, in it’s conference.
“They are about as tough as they come,” Pace said. “We have seen them and we have done OK with them.”
Pace said he is looking forward to what is coming for the Red Storm and is confident they will do well next week.