The Spartan wrestling team didn’t take much of a break.
Instead, it took the opportunity to make improvements and showcase significant positive strides in their tournaments and matches.
The improvement actually began on Dec. 7, at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The RIT Invitational in Rochester, New York provided plenty of hope for the Spartans, who placed eighth in the tournament out of 11 schools. The big highlights came from Eric Sullivan and Luke Marcelli, who both finished third in their respective weight class brackets.
Four members of the team placed in the tournament. Marcelli dominated the consolation bracket to the tune of a 4-0 record, including a 12-4 major decision over Abubakarr Sow, from State University of New York at Oswego, to cement his third place standing in the 149 pound weight class. Sullivan performed just as well, going 3-0 in his consolation bracket to finish third in the 197 pound weight class. Freshman Conor Driscoll also made a strong showing, ending in sixth and leading a strong freshman class with three additional members winning at least two bouts. It was an overall encouraging showing for the Spartans. It was an overall encouraging showing for the Spartans.
A few weeks later, the Spartans were right back at it in the Citrus Invitational down in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The team was lifted yet again by a pair of top five finishes from Luke Marcelli and David Brunk, finishing seventh in the nine school tournament. Brunk went 3-2 in his bracket, with two of those victories coming via pins of his opponents. He ultimately finished fourth in his weight class. Marcelli went 4-2 to finish fifth in his respective bracket, including a 4-1 mark in the consolation portion. It was yet another display of improvement for the team, a potential sign of good things to come.
Finally, the team headed to Lycoming College in Pennsylvania this past weekend to participate in the Budd Whitehill Duals. The event saw the Spartans pick up their first two team victories of the season, defeating the United States Coast Guard Academy and the State University of New York at Oswego. Four Spartan wrestlers went 2-0 for the day between both triumphs. Josh Hall went 3-0 for the weekend, continuing his excellent season. Although the Spartans finished the weekend 2-3, they managed to stay competitive in their matches. Once again, they proved to both themselves and their opposition that they are improving.
The Spartans will look to continue their ascension next weekend when they host Washington & Jefferson College in their home opener. Even though they’ve already gone out and proved themselves in tournaments and matches, there’s nothing like a good performance in front of the home crowd.