By JOEL WHITE
The BYU wrestling team opened its home season Thursday night with a dual match win over the Ricks Vikings, by a team score of 33-12.
Seven of BYU’s 10 wrestlers won their matches, two of them by pin.
Cougar sophomore Tom Mecham (4-4) pinned Allen Bolen with 15 seconds left in the third round of their 132-pound weight class match. BYU freshman Collin Robertson (3-5) pinned his opponent, Tom Worton, with 23 seconds left in their 142-pound match.
“I’m glad we got away from here with a win,” coach Mark Schultz said, following the Cougar’s 33 point performance.
All of the Cougar wrestlers Thursday night were either freshmen or sophomores.
“We have a really young team,” Schultz said. “We like to wrestle against Ricks because they are our main feeder school, and we like to see what wrestlers we have coming up.”
BYU sophomore Jose Enriquez (5-5) won his 118-pound match against Jason Cleverly by decision, and Cougar freshman Doug Sturm (2-3) narrowly missed pinning Ruben Bell 15 seconds into the first round of their 167-pound match. Bell escaped, and Sturm settled for a decision win.
BYU sophomores Corey Anderson (7-4) and Jason Johnson (5-4) also won their matches by decision, and freshman Chris Miller (5-4) won his heavyweight match by forfeit.
Schultz was pleased with the win, even though his team is still getting in shape from the Christmas break.
“I wish (the schedule makers) would move the wrestling season to April instead of January,” he said. “I think the Christmas break has affected what kind of shape we were in tonight.”
It is a problem, Schultz said, the team faces every year. “We’ll just get (the team) on the treadmills and try and get back in shape. I’m just glad we didn’t wrestle (Arizona State) tonight,” he said. “A match like tonight’s shows us what our weaknesses and mistakes are.”
The team’s schedule for the rest of this month will provide the best competition for the wrestlers, Schultz said.
The Cougars travel to Cal-State Fullerton, Fresno State, Cal-Poly and Stanford for their next four matches, before they return home to face Portland State, Oregon and Arizona State, who is ranked fourth in the nation.
“Aside from our preseason tournaments, these next few matches will probably be against the toughest teams we’ll see all year,” Schultz said.
Team co-captain Kris West, who was injured in the St. Louis Open in November, expects to be back in action in February.