UAA Championship event pins Spartans in last place overall

David Hoffman, Staff Reporter

It was a weekend of some positives for the Spartans wrestling team, even though they lost both of their matches at the University Athletic Association championship tournament at New York University. The Spartans’ opposition at the tournament included the University of Chicago and New York University.

The biggest highlight for the team was the performance of Josh Hall, who was named All-UAA for the second consecutive year. Hall won both of his matches at the tournament, including a victory via a major decision against New York University’s Wayne Yuan. In two seasons with the team, Hall is now 4-0 against UAA competition with two All-UAA designations to show for his efforts. For the season, Hall is now 15-6 after a spectacular showing.

For the tournament, Hall was one of five Spartan wrestlers to pick up a victory. Three of the other four won by a decision: Jeff Gould got the better of NYU’s Sean Billings, Luke Marcelli defeated Jacob Smith from the University of Chicago (U of C) and Brian Snyder emerged victorious over Brennan King from U of C. The remaining victory went to David Brunk, who got the win by forfeit. Marcelli’s victory was his 25th of the season, extending his team lead.

As the Spartans wind down the regular season, it is natural to begin looking back on their season to this point. The theme of the season has been improvement, with the wrestlers displaying a hearty effort and remaining competitive week in and week out.

Coach Mark Hawald has been encouraged by the Spartans’ progress this season, displaying optimism for future seasons. He sees the current era of Spartans wrestling as a “building phase,” with an emphasis on not only improvement in the ring, but also improvement in participation in the program. The roster, as currently constructed, only goes 13 deep, and only 10 of those wrestlers are currently active. Coach Hawald has expressed a desire to “get up to 25” wrestlers in the program, or at least somewhere in that range. In terms of the bigger picture, he firmly believes the program is “heading in the right direction,” an assessment backed up by the improvement of the team this season. The future looks awfully bright for Spartans wrestling.

Next weekend, the Spartans return home to wrap up the regular season with the annual Si Ostrach meet. It will be a quad-meet against three other schools: Thiel College, Muskingum University and Rochester Institute of Technology. The meet will take place on Saturday at Horsburgh Gymnasium.