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3 UNI Wrestlers Still Alive for National Title

University of Northern Iowa Panthers - Wrestling
UNI Panthers

UNI’s three lightest wrestlers have set the tone all season, and they remain the only three still in contention for a national title.  Three more are in the hunt for third.

No. 5 Dylan Peters (125 pounds), No. 1 Joe Colon (133 pounds) and No. 11 Joey Lazor (141 pounds) are all looking for their first All-America titles.

Lazor snagged a last-second takedown to upset No. 6 Chris Dardanes of Minnesota, drawing a strong response from the crowd.

“He gave up some easy scores, but he found a way to win,” said head coach Doug Schwab. “So let’s give him credit. He moved on. We said it isn’t always going to be pretty. He got himself in the quarterfinals the of the national tournament, and he will be ready.”

Lazor has a five-match win streak, with three of those wins being against top 10 opponents.

Colon is the only Panther to earn bonus points so far in the tournament, with one major decision win over Vincent Dellefave of Rutgers, 9-1. He extended his win streak to 22.

Peters has improved his win streak to 15 with wins over unranked Nick Roberts of Ohio State and No. 12 Tim Lambert of Nebraska.

Cody Caldwell (174 pounds) knocked off the No. 8 seed Cody Walters of Ohio in a 9-6 tiebreaker decision to advance, but fell in a 12-9 decision to No. 9 Elliot Riddick of Lehigh.

No. 10 Cooper Moore (165 pounds) closed the gap on a loss earlier in the season to No. 7 Pierce Harger of Northwestern but was unable to hold him off. Harger beat Moore, 7-1.

No. 15 Ryan Loder (184 pounds) and Blaize Cabell (285 pounds) were the only Panthers to lose their first matches today. Loder’s 184-pound match went into sudden victory, but Lazarus Reyes of Illinois won, 6-4. Loder battled back to beat Jackson Hein of Wisconsin, 7-1, to remain in contention for third.

“It was good for Loder to get a win tonight,” said Schwab. “He has a long road back, but he’s done it before. We just have to look for these guys to score more points.”

Cabell faced the top heavyweight seed Tony Nelson of Minnesota. Cabell kept it close, but fell 1-0. Joe Stofli of Bucknell ended Cabell’s run at the NCAA tourney with a fall in 3 minutes, 24 seconds.

“He’s going down attacking, so I can’t be upset about that,” said Schwab. “We just have to gut up.”

VYING FOR TITLE:

  • 125 – No. 5 Dylan Peters
  • 133 – No. 1 Joe Colon
  • 141 – No. 11 Joey Lazor

VYING FOR THIRD PLACE:

  • 165 – No. 10 Cooper Moore
  • 174 – Cody Caldwell
  • 184 – No. 15 Ryan Loder

UPCOMING MATCHUPS

  • 125 – Peters will face Earl Hall of Iowa State. Peters has earned bonus points with a fall and major decision over Hall so far this season.
  • 133 – Colon will take on No. 8 David Thorn of Minnesota. Thorn is a returning All-American.
  • 141 – Lazor has his biggest challenge yet this year with No. 3 Zain Retherford of Penn State. Retherford is a true freshman who won two state titles as a prep in Pennsylvania.
  • 165 – Moore will face a returning NCAA qualifier in senior Ramon Santiago of Rider University.
  • 174 – Caldwell is matched up against Joe Latham of Oregon State, a junior making his first trip to the NCA tourney.
  • 184 – Loder advanced in the wrestlebacks and will battle Devin Hightower of Air Force.

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