Wrestling through the winter


Courtesy CWRU Wrestling

Four fearsome first-year wrestlers are leading the Spartans throughout the season, including during their matches over winter break.

Eddie Kerekes, Sports Editor

While many Case Western Reserve University students recuperated at home during the long break, members of the wrestling team fought hard in four competitions. They started out by taking part in the Waynesburg Invitational on Jan. 7, then they hosted Otterbein University for a dual meet on Jan. 11, next they traveled to Ursinus College for the Will Abele Invitational on Jan. 14 and then finished with a tri-meet at Muhlenberg College the next day.

First-year students Isaac Collier, Alec Hoover, Mike Petersen and Jacob Frish all delivered standout performances over the break. The quartet posses a combined record of 49-33 this season with 15 pins. Head Coach Danny Song said, “Our young guys are stepping up.… It’s amazing.”

Of the 11 teams competing at Waynesburg, CWRU finished 10th with 51 points. As he did for most of the matches, Collier led the Spartan attack and contributed 15 points. Collier won four bouts at 149 pounds, including one by pin in the final minute, to secure fifth place. Alec Hoover added 17 points with a third place finish in the 133-pound weight class. In his two victories, Hoover won by a combined score of 20-4.

Competing in their first dual meet of the season, the Spartans were soundly defeated by the Cardinals 37-9 in front of one of the largest home crowds of the season. Collier earned five of the points with a 18-0 major decision victory. Earning the other four was second-year student Gavin Dersh-Fisher with his 10-2 victory at 197 pounds. Dersh-Fisher notched his 10th victory of the season with the win. CWRU was very close to notching a few more points. Hoover lost by just one point in his bout, while third-year student Connor Gordon lost by only two in his bout.

Song attributes some of the struggles to the team’s inexperience with dual meets this season. He said, “[The preparation] is slightly different, and I think that had something to do with our performance.” He also said the Spartans struggle closing out matches against tougher opponents. “We’ve shown the ability to do it, but we’re not doing it every time,” he commented.

The team fared much better when they moved back to tournament wrestling at Ursinus. Five wrestlers placed higher than fourth, with Frisch notching a second place finish in the 125-pound weight class. Frisch is tied for the team lead with five pins and is one of five Spartans to record at least 10 wins on the season. Recording third place finishes were third-year student Nick Tommas (174 pounds) and fourth-year student Matt Moy (125 pounds). Collier and Hoover unsurprisingly placed as well, each earning fourth place in his weight class.

CWRU crushed Pennsylvania State University, Mont Alto 48-5 to record their first team win of the season. Moy, Hoover, Petersen and second-year student Brian McNamara each earned six points for the visiting Spartans by pinning their opponents. Petersen’s pin came in the final minute of his exciting bout while Moy’s came after just 83 seconds.

The team did not fare as well against the hosting Mules, losing 31-11. McNamara, Frisch and Petersen were the only three Spartans to notch victories against the tough competition. Petersen won by technical fall in the closing seconds of his bout. McNamara and Frisch’s victories came via regular decision.

The Spartans return to Cleveland on Jan. 21 for the Si Ostrach Meet, their final home bouts of the season. Song said, “It should be a good weekend. You should see some good performances.”
Wrestlers from Waynesburg, Muskingum University, John Carroll University and Washington & Jefferson College will all face off against CWRU’s finest on the mat. The first bouts begin at noon, and the meet will wrap up in the early evening. Head down to the Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center to cheer your Spartans on.