The Barton Community College wrestling team took on one of the toughest field of opponents in program history on Saturday as the Cougars began the 2019-20 season at the Cowboy Open in Laramie, Wyoming.
For Gomez, the path was through the consolation side of the bracket after suffering a 1:45 minute fall in his first collegiate match by University of Wyoming unattached wrestler Darrick Stacey. Gomez bounced back with a trio of victories (16-0 tech fall, 6:44 fall, and 9-4 decision) before having the day end in the consolation quarterfinals on a 51-second fall to Western State Colorado University's unattached wrestler Ethan Andrade.
A national qualifier at last year's NJCAA national tournament, Ewalt won the first match of his sophomore campaign by a major decision 14-1 score before coming out on top 10-5 to reach the quarterfinal round. Waiting amongst the final eight of the championship side of the bracket was Anderson Salisbury of Colorado School of Mines, who would roll on to place runner-up in the division by first dispatching Ewalt to the consolation by a 17-2 tech fall.
Ewalt's next match was also in the quarterfinals, winning the consolation variety 9-3 before having the day halted in the semifinal round 8-1 to Northeastern Junior College's Hayden Wempen.
Barton's lone other victory came in the 174 division as freshman Jacob Sanchez won his collegiate debut 5-2 but was bounced in the quarterfinal round to the backside of the bracket by an 18-0 tech fall to Adams State's Zach Deaguero before Colorado Mesa University's Jason Bynarowicz made sure Sanchez' day was shortened with a 15-6 major decision.
Other Cougars running into eventual Open placers were Jalen Hernandez dropping his collegiate debut to the eventual 141 division runner-up while sophomore Andrew DeArmond's two losses came to the eventual 165 champion and the eventual fourth place finisher.
Barton's next action comes this Saturday as the Cougars head south to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for the OKC University Open.