Spartans keep climbing

Wrestling squad travels to Rochester

Eddie Kerekes, Sports Editor

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Closing out the calendar year, the Spartans’ wrestling team competing in their first meet with team scoring, notching 17.5 points at the Rochester Institute of Technology Invitational. First-year student Isaac Collier led the charge, contributing 4.5 of those points over six bouts. He and two others advanced to the round of eight in their respective weight classes.

“We’re definitely making progress,” said Head Coach Danny Song. “It’s encouraging to see how close we really are.”

Collier, who competed at 149 pounds, showed why he is one of the top wrestlers on the team, despite this being his rookie season. Although he lost his first bout to John Carroll University’s Joe Boley, he fell by just one point. He then won his next four bouts, all by at least five points. One of the wins even came by technical fall when he defeated the University of Scranton’s Max Tricolla 16-0. His streak came to an end during his round of eight bout, as Collier fell 12-2.

Song recognizes how Collier comes through in crucial spots. “He’s very tough in tough situations. The tougher the situation the higher he raises his level,” he said. Collier has also been the Spartans’ most consistent wrestler in this young season, another attribute the coaches appreciate.

Another Spartan wrestler who advanced to the round of eight—but ultimately failed—was second-year student Gavin Dersh-Fisher, compiling a 4-2 record at the Invitational. He won his first bout in overtime with a takedown of his opponent, but lost his second bout by four points. He then won his next three bouts, including a 6-2 win over teammate Chris Zhang. The 184 pound wrestler was pinned in his final bout with just 36 seconds remaining. He compiled 2.5 points for CWRU throughout the day.

The final wrestler to advance to the round of eight was first-year student Jacob Frisch, competing at 133 pounds  and finishing with a 3-2 record. Similar to Dersh-Fisher, Frisch lost his first bout, but won his next three. Frisch wrestled in tight bouts throughout the day, as three of his five contests were decided by just a single point.

Song said that Frisch has been working on being more aggressive and less methodical during meets. “In the practice room, he’s very exciting to watch, when he gets out to competition he holds himself back,” he said. “We know he can [win bouts] in a lot more of a grander fashion. He is getting more comfortable out there. It’s definitely a transition for a freshman. He’s definitely on the right track to say the least.”

Overall it was a strong meet for the Spartans, as every wrestler notched at least one victory. After taking a long break, the team returns to action on Jan. 7 at the Waynesburg Invitational and hopes to continue improving in the new year.