GREAT FALLS — The University of Providence men’s wrestling team had its first and only appearance at home Thursday with duals against Wyoming’s Northwest College and arch-rival MSU-Northern.
The Argos knew they wouldn’t get much time on the mat this season, so they’ve made the most of their opportunities, going 4-0 in their duals. Head coach Steve Komac has had to skip basics in practice, but talent goes a long way.
"They are college athletes, they have been on a mat for a long time. And so just kind of fast forward a little bit, kind of jumping in the last third type structure," Komac said. "That's what we've done and so far it seems to be working pretty well."
Five Argos are ranked nationally heading into Thursday's tilt. One of those is 133-pound senior Eli Walston, who took home Cascade Collegiate Conference player of the week honors after three wins in Nampa, Idaho.
"We've been working a lot lately on my consistency with everything to stick into my style of wrestling and not letting the other guy control the match," Walston said. "And that was really consistent this weekend, I did all the same stuff with each wrestler and it just kind of came naturally. I felt great out there wrestled really good."
Thursday’s matchups will have a huge impact on qualifying for the NAIA national tournament. There’s no true conference tournament this year, so records, common opponents and rankings will be the deciding factors.
"Trying to get the kids just to focus on the match itself and not the rankings, I think, is a real important piece of it," Komac said. "Just focus on your abilities, focus on the match, but it is important. Like I said, a week and a half from now we're going to be sitting in a virtual meeting in our conference, talking about who are the guys who have that ability and level and should go."