Wrestling goes 6-2 to start 2023


Courtesy of CWRU Athletics

CWRU first-year Jacob Gregg grapples with his opponent during the Jan. 14 Claude Sharer Duals.

Puneet Bansal, Sports Editor

The Case Western Reserve University wrestling team had a scintillating start to the new year and don’t appear to be slowing down. After splitting the dual meet on Jan. 7, the Spartans swept another dual meet on Jan. 10 and went 3-1 at the Claude Sharer Duals on Jan. 14.

CWRU traveled to Ada, Ohio on Jan. 7 and defeated Manchester University 30-18. All first-years, E.J. Alizio won 10-7 by decision in the 125 pounds weight class, Art Martinez won his first career win 18-1 in 6:03 at 141 pounds and Thomas Wagner won 11-2 by major decision at 149 pounds. First-years Jacob Gregg and Marty Landes won by forfeit at 133 and 157 pounds, respectively. After racking up these wins, CWRU had losses at 165, 174 and 184 pounds to bring the score to 24-12. Fourth-year Stephen Andryc pinned his opponent in 5:19 to claim the win at 197 pounds and a final score of 30-18.

Despite this strong showing, the Spartans were swept 44-0 by Ohio Northern, which includes some of the best DIII wrestlers in the country. The closest matches were Martinez’s 6-0 loss by decision and first-year Calvin Rowan’s 4-0 loss at 149 pounds to the 10th best wrestler in the US.

“Ohio Northern is a tough matchup in terms of our two team makeups,” said Head Coach Josh Malave in an interview with the CWRU Athletic Department. “We’re very young, they’re a veteran team. So it was a good experience for us to see that level and ultimately we want to be one of the best teams in the country … We had some really good moments within the duel, some of our guys battled really hard, we’re really proud of them.”

The Spartans followed with a sweep at the Mel Berry Duals a few days later. In Greenville, Pennsylvania, they took on Penn State Behrend University where Alizio kicked things off in the 125 pounds class with a 14-0 win by major decision. Gregg pinned his opponent in 6:49 at 133 pounds, Rowan pinned in 45 seconds at 149 pounds, fourth-year Mitchell Arch won by fall in 2:04 in 157 pounds and first-year John Conover pinned in 1:29 at 165 pounds. Second-year Calvin Cai won 12-4 in major decision at 174 pounds and first-year Connor Heineman won 17-0 in a technical fall at 197 pounds to round off the 43-12 win.

The second match against Thiel College was much more competitive. Alizio had the same start, winning by fall in 5:53. After a loss in the 133 pounds, Martinez won with an 11-5 decision at 141 pounds to retake the lead. Thiel tied it 9-9 in the 149 pounds, but Arch and Lande each recorded technical falls in the 165 pounds and 157 pounds, respectively, giving the Spartans a 19-9 advantage. Thiel came cut the lead 22-16, but first-year Keith Heineman won a 9-6 decision at 285 pounds to seal the 25-16 CWRU victory.

When asked about the success in the Mel Berry Duals, Coach Malave said, “It was across the board a complete team effort. Seeing guys move around within the lineup and helping us do what it takes to win and taking those gradual steps as a program to get better.”


CWRU hosted the Claude Sharer Duals in the Veale Center on Jan. 14. The Spartans first competed against Muskingum University, handily taking the 39-10 victory. Alizio won 10-3 decision, Gregg won 10-1 decision and Cai won 22-4 via a technical fall. Arch and Keith Heineman also took wins with first period falls, bringing the final score to 39-10.

Against Wilmington College, the Spartans won due to five forfeits in the 125, 133, 141, 149 and 184 pound matches. Wagner won via pin, Conover recorded a fall in the 174 pounds and Landes took a technical fall to win 17-1 in the 165 pounds to take the 47-8 win.

The Spartans faced much tougher competition against Otterbein University. After taking a 17-0 lead following victories from Alizio, Gregg, Martinez and Rowan, Otterbein struck back with four wins to take the 18-17 lead. Otterbein eventually won the deciding match at 285 pounds and took the 22-17 win.

CWRU bounced back against Washington & Jefferson University 40-9. Alizio earned his third win and Martinez’s victory started a seven-match winning streak. The Spartans earned the 40-9 victory to cap off their weekend with a 3-1 record.

Alizio was named the UAA Wrestler of the Week for the first time in his career following his success at the Claude Sharer Duals. He was also named the Spartan Club Athlete of the Week.

The wrestling team will host the Dr. Si Ostrach Duals in the Veale Center on Jan. 21, with Waynesburg University, Defiance College, Albion College and St. John Fisher University attending. The Spartans will round out the month at the Pete Willson Invite hosted by Wheaton College in Illinois from Jan. 27-28. On Feb. 4, the team will travel to Hiram, Ohio for a tri-meet before participating in the UAA Championship in Chicago. Qualifying athletes will compete in the NCAA Central Regionals from Feb. 25-26 and the NCAA Championships from March 10-11.