The Spartans had a tough time at the Pete Willson Invitational, with only four members of the wrestling team notching wins, and none earning more than one. The team finished 31st out of the 34 schools participating in the meet, accumulating 7.5 points.
The poor results are perhaps explained by the tough competition at the invite. Head Coach Danny Song said it was “the best competition that we saw all year.”
Despite the inadequate results, Song definitely said good things came out of the meet. He said, “[I] saw some things that we can improve on, and [we] definitely got exposed in some areas that we need to sharpen up.”
A trio of first-year students—Jacob Frisch, Andrew Hoover and Mike Petersen—earned wins for the Spartans. The other victory came from second-year student Gavin Dersh-Fisher. No Spartan victories were by pins.
To lead off the tournament, Frisch, wrestling at 125 pounds, defeated his opponent from Heidelberg University by a score of 14-9. After losing his next two bouts by technical fall, his day was over. Frisch got an unlucky draw and faced some especially stiff competition. His second bout—a 20-3 loss that ended in less than three minutes—came against the number one seed, and eventual winner of the bracket.
Petersen, in the 149 pound division, lost his first bout by major decision. However, he responded very well, with a decisive 15-0 technical fall victory. Sadly, he lost his next matchup by five points, ending his day after just three bouts.
Hoover’s victory was a very close one, a 3-1 decision over University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s Jordan Meyer in the 141 pound bracket. Dersh-Fisher (197 lbs.) also fought in close bouts. His first one, a 3-0 loss, was tightly contested, as was his second matchup, a 2-1 victory.
Andrew Munn, wrestling at 157 pounds, lost one his bouts in overtime, a 6-4 sudden decision. He was the only other Spartan to come close to winning a bout.
The improvements need to come quick for the wrestling team as they only have one more event before the University Athletic Association Championships on Feb. 12. They travel to Baldwin Wallace University on Saturday, Feb. 4 for the John Summa Invitational. A vast majority of the team is expected to compete, as 14 members should be traveling with the team.