Campbell defeats Wyoming at Battle in the Barn

CENTENNIAL, Wyo. -- The Fighting Camels improved to 2-1 on the season with a 23-12 victory over the Wyoming Cowboys in Friday night's Battle in the Barn. The match was broadcast on UFC Fight Pass and was held at Deerwood Ranch.

True freshman Chris Earnest was named the Outstanding Wrestler of the match by the broadcast team after recording a tech fall (5:16) against Paolo Salminen.

The match began at 174 pounds, and Austin Murphy used a four-point near fall and over 2:45 of riding time to help build a 9-0 lead after the first period. He recorded another takedown in the third to seal the close victory, 16-15.

The Camels followed that with three more victories to build a 15-0 match lead. Brothers Caleb Hopkins and Levi Hopkins recorded one-point and two-point decisions, respectively.

Heavyweight Taye Ghadiali followed that with his fourth pin of the season, defeating Kevin Zimmer in 3:47. He now sits at 7-0 to this point, with all seven wins being bonus point victories.

After the Cowboys took the 125 bout, Domenic Zaccone moved to 2-0 on the season by defeating Cooper Birdwell, 4-2, after a takedown in the first 10 seconds of the match.

Wyoming would take the next two bouts at 141 and 149, but freshman Earnest took the second bonus point victory for the Camels, a tech fall against Paolo Salminen in 5:16 (20-2) for the Camels' final team points of the match.

The defeat was the first of the year for the Cowboys, who now sit at 3-1. Campbell will next hit the mat in two weeks at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational on December 1-2.

174 | #23 Austin Murphy (CAM) def. Riley Davis (WYO), Dec. 16-15
184 | #23 Caleb Hopkins (CAM) def. Ethan Ducca (WYO), Dec. 4-3
197 | #26 Levi Hopkins (CAM) def. Joseph Novak (WYO), Dec. 2-0
HWT | #15 Taye Ghadiali (CAM) def. Kevin Zimmer (WYO), Fall (3:47)
125 | #13 Jore Volk (WYO) def. Anthony Molton (CAM), Dec. 12-5
133 | #14 Domenic Zaccone def. (CAM) Cooper Birdwell (WYO), Dec. 4-2
141 | Cole Brooks (WYO) def. Chris Rivera (CAM), Dec. 9-8
149 | Gabe Willochell (WYO) def. Justin Rivera (CAM), Dec. 5-4
157 | #30 Chris Earnest (CAM) def. Paolo Salminen (WYO), Tech Fall (5:16)
165 | Brett McIntosh (WYO) def. Dom Baker (CAM), Dec. 6-5
Individual rankings according to Intermat


184 Caleb Hopkins
On the environment and the effect it had on the team:
"It was a little bit of a hostile environment, it felt like the crowd was against you the whole time. Some of the guys were affected by the elevation, I think. In the venue it said it was 8,300 feet elevation, so that was tough to combat. You'd go into the match and you were wrestling hard, and all of a sudden it would just hit you because you're not getting quite enough oxygen. But I think we adjusted fairly well, and the matches we had to win close, a lot of our guys won close. And then a couple of our guys were able to get blowout wins, which was cool."

On what he's learned in the first part of the season that will help propel the team:
"I think the thing we've learned is to wrestle through all positions. If there's time left on the clock you just have to go out there and get after it. That's something I've learned pretty painfully, but I learned my lesson now, and I'm going to be taking that with me to [Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational]. I think a lot of the guys are going to have that same mindset."

157 Chris Earnest
On his approach to a match:
"I'm always there to score more points, that's kind of the whole point of wrestling. If I'm able to score the points, I'm going to take them. But if it's a close match, I'm going to stay in that match and keep trying to score in different ways."

On how he overcame the environment:
"The elevation really was a big factor. In the beginning of the match, I kind of felt like I was on the moon, to be honest. It was really hard to breathe. But I came back down to earth and was able to tech him. The crowd was going purely for Wyoming, but that didn't make much of a difference."

On what he's looking forward to the most in the off week:
"Getting back and going to see my family, especially my little brothers. I haven't seen them in a while. Seeing my old wrestling team, too. We were pretty close, so I'm excited to see them as well."