Cowboys, Mavericks reach stalemate on mat

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NMHU's home debut proves entertaining

By Dave Kavanaugh

Fans of the New Mexico Highlands wrestling program celebrated their team’s homecoming Thursday night at the Wilson Complex, and the Cowboys made it entertaining.

Down 11-0 in its dual meet with Mesa State, Highlands won five of the next seven matches to force a rare tie at 23-23.

Jesse Feinsod, NMHU’s All-American 174-pounder, had arguably the most dominant performance of the evening in running his record to 14-4. He scored a 15-0 technical fall with a first-period clinic against Kyle Brightman.

Far more competitive were the bouts at 165 and 197.

In the former, Highlands’ Jarrod Purvis and Mesa’s Cole Johnson — tied at 1-1 in regulation — took their battle into double overtime. Purvis scored the go-ahead takedown after Johnson’s one-point escape. Then in the final 30 seconds, Purvis held on for the 3-2 victory.

At 197, Highlands Luke McPeek (10-4) pinned James Breidel at the 2:58 mark. But that only came after a wild match that saw the momentum swing abruptly back and forth, with each man putting the other in near-fall predicaments.

“You almost gave me a heart attack,” NMHU coach Doug Moses told McPeek afterward.

McPeek’s win drew the Cowboys within 23-20 in the meet score. That left the last match of the evening — the heavyweights — to decide the dual.

Highlands’ Jesse Boggs (9-7) and the Mavs’ Trevor Stapp engaged in a violent first period that produced no points. Midway through the last period, Boggs finally broke through for a takedown. He gained a point for riding time and a 3-0 win — good for three team points and the tie.

NMHU’s other win was one of 149-pounder Trey Saxon’s finest efforts to date, a pin of Keith Johnson at the 4:59 mark.

Mesa had started the night with three straight wins, as Miguel Baltazar (125 lbs.) beat Edwin Soriano 17-1, Rhett Breed (133) defeated Donovan Troup 10-5, and Jason Wenger (141) nipped Tyler Davey 8-6. The Mavericks also won at 157 and 184, as Chase Walker pinned Nick Sanchez and Andy Laiminger pinned Andrew Roden, respectively.