Thunder Wrestling News
3/17 - Larson Earns Third NCAA DIII All-American Honor
Larson and Pieper Named NWCA Scholar All-Americans
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - For the first time in school history, the Trine University wrestling team sent three wrestlers to the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships. The Thunder came home finishing in a tie for 35th with 10.5 points as two of their three men picked up a victory on the weekend.
For the third consecutive year at 157 pounds, senior Eli Larson (Chicago, Ill./Marion Catholic) earned All-American honors with an eighth place finish. Larson opened the tournament by pinning Jon Garrison from Mount Union in the second period of their match at 5:23. In his second round match, the top seeded Larson fell in a heartbreaker 6-5 on riding time to eighth seeded Cade Sarbacker from Wis.-Whitewater.
In the wrestlebacks, Larson earned his second pin of the tournament over Kevin Fynboh from Concordia (MN) at 2:08 in the first round of their match. Larson would be unable to continue in his final two matches as he finished eighth in the tournament, which earned him his third All-American honors.
In the 125 pound weight class, sophomore Brandon Preston (Logansport, Ind./Logansport) fell just a win shy of also earning All-American honors. In the first round, the seventh seeded Preston took down Will McCarthy from Concordia (MN) by a major decision 10-2. In the second round, Preston fell to unseeded Christopher Donaldson from Ursinus 8-3.
Preston would fall in the opening match of the wrestlebacks to Mike Fuenffinger from Augsburg by pinfall in the opening period.
Also wrestling in his final collegiate match, senior Ryan Pieper (Onsted, Mich./Onsted) made the national tournament for the second straight season. Pieper would have a tough weekend as he dropped both of his matches. In the opening round Pieper fell to top seeded, and eventual national champion, Kyle Kwiat from Ohio Northern 9-3. Pieper was one of only two opponents to score a point on Kwait in the tournament. In the wrestlebacks, Pieper suffered a pinfall loss to Matt Burns from Augustana at 4:23 of their match.
It was also announced during the tournament that Larson and Pieper were named to the National Wrestling Coaches Association Scholar All-American team. Larson earned the honor for the third straight season and Pieper for the second consecutive year.
To be eligible as a Scholar All-American, a wrestler must have at least a 3.2 GPA and a sophomore standing. Wrestlers must also either place in the top six at their respective regional tournament and have a .500 winning percentage or a .670 winning percentage and compete in 50 percent of the teams competitions.
3/2 - Larson, Preston and Pieper Advance to Nationals
ELMHURST, Ill. - For the first time in school history the Trine University wrestling team will send three athletes to the NCAA Division III National Championships. Two-time senior All-American Eli Larson (Chicago, Ill./Marion Catholic) will make his third straight appearance, while fellow senior Ryan Pieper (Onsted, Mich./Onsted) will make his second straight tournament and sophomore Brandon Preston (Logansport, Ind./Logansport) will be making his first national appearance.
As a team, the Thunder finished seventh with 53.5 points. Wis.-Whitewater won the team title with 121 points.
Larson, the top ranked wrestler in Division III at 157 pounds ran through his three opponents, allowing just a single point. In his opening match, Larson pinned Blake Olson from North Central at 2:10 of the opening period. Larson would then shutout 12th ranked James Lewis from Wis.-La Crosse 4-0. With a spot in the nation tournament already secured, Larson took home the regional crown with a major decision over 10th ranked Reece Lefever of Wabash 9-1.
At 125 pounds, Preston gave the Thunder their second regional champion as he dominated his three opponents, including two wins by pin fall and not allowing a point. In the opening round Preston, ranked 9th in the nation, pinned Tyler Foley from Alma just 1:32 into their match. Preston followed that up with another pin, taking down Alfred McKeown of Olivet, also in the opening period at the 2:23 mark. In the championship match, Preston faced 10th ranked Isaac Balsiger from Wis.-La Crosse for the third time this season. And just as the previous two matches, Preston defeated Balsiger, this time in a 4-0 shutout.
Pieper had to make it the hard way after falling in the championship bracket semi-finals. Pieper, ranked 10th in Division III, opened the day with a major decision over 22nd ranked Matt McCrary from Wheaton 13-5. Pieper fell in his closest match of the day 3-2 to 9th ranked and top seeded Kevin Obrien from Wis.-La Crosse 3-2. Pieper would rebound with a major decision over fifth ranked Danny Balderas from Elmhurst 16-2. With a berth in the national championship on the line, Pieper took down Conner Lefever from Wabash by a score of 6-3, sending him to nationals.
Brothers Josh and Jon Blanton (Alexandria, Ind./Alexandria) both picked up wins in the tournament. At 141 pounds, Josh defeated Jonathan Williamson from North Central 8-6 in sudden death. Meanwhile in the 149 weight class, Jon defeated seventh seeded Nathan Segal also from North Central 3-2.
Trine was just one of three schools with multiple regional champions.
It marks the third straight season the Thunder have sent multiple wrestlers to the national tournament, and the fourth consecutive season sending at least one representative.
The trio will have a week off before heading to Cedar Rapids, Iowa for the two-day NCAA Division III National Championships beginning March 15.
2/16 - Thunder Sixth at Mid-States Conference Tournament
ALMA, Mich. - The Trine University wrestling team finished sixth at the Mid-States Conference Tournament with 40.5 points. The host school Alma took the title with 203 points.
Trine’s top performance came at 184 pounds by freshman Michael Conner (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville) where he finished third. Conner’s only loss came in his opening match to the eventual runner-up. Conner rebounded by taking a 14-7 decision over Jacob Segraves from Manchester University. He would then take down his next two opponents by pin fall in Lantz Miller of Olivet College and John Gaffney Alma at 5:43 and 4:17 of their matches. In the bronze medal match, Conner brought home the win with a 7-5 decision over Blake Marlatt from Wabash College.
Finishing in sixth place at 141 lbs for the Thunder was freshman Nick Ader (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli). Ader needed overtime to defeat his opening opponent, Matt Darling from Olivet 5-3. Ader would drop his next two matches, before falling in the fifth place match.
Fellow freshman Matt Frane (Auburn, Ind./DeKalb) finished seventh in the 125 weight class. After dropping his opening two matches, Fran pinned Alec Weise from Wabash at 1:04 of their match to take seventh place.
The Thunder will take a week off before they head to Elmhurst College for the NCAA Mideast Regional tournament on March 2 beginning at 9:00 a.m.
2/12 - Thunder Grapplers Win on Senior Night
ANGOLA, Ind. - In their final warm-up for the Mid-States Conference Tournament, the Trine University wrestling team defeated Manchester University 28-16. The Thunder improve to 4-13 on the season in dual meets.
Trine started things off with a bang on Senior Night. Leading things off for the Thunder, senior All-American and toped ranked wrestler at 157 pounds Elias Larson (Chicago, Ill./Marion Catholic), pinned Johnny Tullos just 53 seconds into their match.
Fellow senior Ryan Pieper (Onsted, Mich./Onsted) moved up to 184lbs from his normal 174 division where he is ranked 10th. The change made no difference to Pieper as he dominated Jacob Segraves, winning by a major decision 20-8 as he did not surrender a takedown.
At 197 pounds, sophomore Mack Green (Buchanan, Mich./Buchanan) took home a win over Raymond Wajda in the final period, breaking a scoreless match to win 3-0.
In the closest match of the night, junior Shane Hendrickson (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Memorial) fell in overtime 3-1 at 285 pounds.
Trine’s final win of the night came at 141 pounds. After giving up two points via penalty, freshman Josh Blanton (Alexandria, Ind./Alexandria) scored six straight points including a three-point near nearfall to defeat Josh Juarez 6-3.
The Thunder also picked up two wins by forfeit on the night. At 125 pounds, 9th ranked sophomore Brandon Preston (Logansport, Ind./Logansport) earned the win and at 174 pounds freshman Bryce Grames (Hamilton, Ind.) took home the victory.
The Thunder will now compete at the Mid-States Conference Tournament hosted by Alma College on February 16 beginning at 9:00 a.m.
2/7 - Thunder Wrestlers Fall in Dual Meet
ANGOLA, Ind. - In their first home dual meet of the season, the Trine University wrestling team fell to rival Alma College 26-12. The Thunder are now 3-13 on the season in dual meets.
The Thunder picked up three wins on the night, all coming from their nationally ranked wrestlers. Trine also dropped two close matches that were decided by three points or less.
In the 133 division, sophomore Brandon Preston (Logansport, Ind./Logansport) wrestled up from his normal 125lbs class where he ranks 9th in the nation. After a slow first period, Preston would go on to defeat Collin Lesko 7-2.
At 149lbs, freshman Josh Blanton (Alexandria, Ind./Alexandria) dropped a tough match to James Carey 11-8.
Senior Eli Larson (Chicago, Ill./Marion Catholic) showed why he was named the d3wrestle.com National Wrestler of the Week as he dominated his match at 157 pounds, defeating Jamie Jakes 15-1. Larson entered the week in the top spot of the national ranking in his weight class.
Fellow senior Ryan Pieper (Onsted, Mich./Onsted) also put on a dominating performance in the 174 class. Pieper, the 10th ranked wrestler in the division, took care of Drew Barnes winning by technical fall at 4:30 of the match, 20-3.
In the closest match of the night, sophomore Mack Green (Buchanan, Mich./Buchanan) fell to Trevor Maresh 4-2.
Trine will wrestler in their final dual match of the season when they host Manchester on February 12 at 7:00 p.m.
2/6 - Larson Named d3wrestle.com/WWSport.com Wrestler of the Week
ANGOLA, Ind. - Trine University senior wrestler Eli Larson (Chicago, Ill./Marion Catholic) was named the d3wrestle.com/WWSport.com Wrestler of the Week. Wrestling from the #2 seed, Larson won five matches in a row to win the championship at 157 lbs. at the Pete Wilson Wheaton Invitational. He scored a pair of first period falls and a pair of second period falls to reach the championship bout against All-American Dillon Bera of UW-Parkside, the #1 ranked wrestler in Division II and a 3rd place finisher at the 2012 DII Championships. Larson defeated Bera 5-4 to win the tournament. For his efforts, he was awarded the George Olson Most Outstanding Wrestler award and was also the winner of the Jack Schwartz Award for the most falls in the least amount of time.
Larson is currently the #1 ranked wrestler in Division III at 157 lbs. and sports a record of 13-1 for the season, with the only loss coming to Division I opponents. He is a two time All-American, finishing 3rd in 2011 and 4th in 2012. His career record stands at an impressive 114-20. Trine finishes out their schedule with a home meet this Thursday against Alma, a home meet next Tuesday against Manchester, and the following Saturday with the Mid-States tournament at Alma before heading to the Midwest Regional on March 2nd.
2/2 - Thunder 8th at Wheaton, Larson Named MOW
WHEATON, Ill. - It was a good weekend for the Trine University wrestling team as they placed eight at the two-day, 29-team Pete Wilson-Wheaton Invitational with 69 points. Division II Wis.-Parkside won the team title with 151.5 points.
The Thunder placed three wrestlers into the semi-finals, finishing the meet with a first, second and fourth places.
In the 157 pound weight class, senior All-American Elias Larson (Chicago, Ill./Marion Catholic) continued his domination of opponents, plowed his way through three nationally ranked opponents, including the top wrestler in Division II, en-route to being named the George Olson Most Outstanding Wrestler. Larson also took home the Jack Schwartz award for the most falls in the least amount of time as the only wrestler to pin four opponents on the weekend.
The top ranked wrestler in Division III, Larson was relentless against his first four opponents as he won each match by pin fall to advance to the championship match. Larson began the weekend by pinning Zack Sheridan of Elizabethtown at 3 minutes and 57second of their match before taking care of 22nd ranked Brandon Stradel of Wis.-Eau Claire in just 39 seconds, the third fastest pin in the entire tournament. Larson would then take care of conference rival Shawn Brewer from Alma, pinning him in 3:37. To advance to the championship match, Larson took down 15th ranked Mark Savenok from Wheaton at 2:43 of their match. The championship match would pit the top ranked wrestler in Division III against the No. 1 wrestler in Division II in All-American Dillon Bera from Wis.-Parkside. In the closest match of the tournament for either wrestler, Larson pulled out a 5-4 victory to take home the gold.
Sophomore Brandon Preston (Logansport, Ind./Logansport) went 3-1 on the weekend en-route to a second place finish in the 125lbs division. Preston, who came into the tournament ranked 25th in Division III, won his opening match by pin fall, defeating Michael Buckiso from John Carroll at 5:53 of their match. Preston would follow that up by edging out 15th ranked Isaac Balsiger of Wis.-La Crosse 7-6. Preston has now defeated Balsiger twice, both of which are his only losses of the season. Preston would advance to the championship match by defeating the fourth ranked wrestler in DIII Jake Scholten from Augustana 6-5. The gold medal match was a tough one for Preston as he fell to 10th ranked Sean Ambrocio of Concordia (WI) by tech fall.
Senior Ryan Pieper (Onsted, Mich./Onsted) finished the invitational fourth in the 174 pound division. Pieper, the eighth ranked wrestler in the nation, won his opening match by a major decision over Greg Ventris from Knox 13-1. In the second round, Pieper defeated Ezekial Zimmer of Elizabethtown by another major decision 12-4. Pieper would then defeat 15th ranked Matt McCrary from Wheaton 9-7 to advance to the semi-finals. Pieper would come up just short of the championship match, falling to All-American Kevin O'Brien from Wis.-La Crosse 6-2. To advance to the third place match, Pieper defeated 20th ranked Ben Kramer of Messiah 7-5. In the third place match, Pieper would again fall by a score of 6-2 to 15th ranked Dan Schiferl of Wis.-Oshkosh.
Also taking home wins for Trine was freshman Nick Ader (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli) at 133 pounds. The eighth seeded Ader fell just shy of placing for the Thunder after picking up two wins in the wrestle-back bracket. After falling in his opening match, Ader picked up two victories by pin fall. First Ader defeated Adam Wyeth of Chicago at 6:09 and then Aaron Davis from Wabash at 4:12 of the match.
Trine will host their first dual meet of the season when Alma comes to Hershey Hall on February 7 for a 7:00 p.m. match.
1/26 - Thunder Finish 1-2 at Border Brawl
WHITEWATER, Wis. - Three Trine University wrestlers went undefeated at the Wis.-Whitewater Border Brawl as the Thunder went 1-2 as a team in the dual matches. Trine’s record now sits at 3-12 on the year in dual matches.
Both of the Thunder’s losses came to nationally ranked teams. In their opening match the Thunder fell to 13th ranked Wis.-Whitewater 29-11. Trine then fell to 6th ranked Wis.-Stevens Point in the second round 27-17. The Thunder closed out the duals with a 27-20 victory over Wis.-Oshkosh.
At 157 pounds, senior All-American Elias Larson (Chicago, Ill./Marion Catholic) continued his reign as the top ranked wrestler in Division III as he picked up two wins on the day to remain undefeated against Division III opponents. Larson took down Cedric Gibson from Wis.-Whitewater in the first round 7-4 before defeating Jamey Simmons from Wis.-Stevens Point 8-2.
Fellow senior Ryan Pieper (Onsted, Mich./Onsted) showed why he is ranked eighth in the 174 weight class as he easily handled his three opponents. Against Wis.-Whitewater, Pieper defeated Ryan Aprahamian 9-6. In what was one of the most anticipated matches of the day, Pieper showed no doubt as he dismantled Ryan Conat from Wis.-Stevens Point, the sixth ranked wrestler in their division, by technical fall 18-3. Pieper closed out the day pinning Ben Frieler from Wis.-Oshkosh in the first period at 1 minute 57 seconds.
In the 125 class, 25th ranked sophomore Brandon Preston (Logansport, Ind./Logansport) also made quick work of his three opponents, not giving up a single point. Preston took care of Joe Meylor from Wis.-Whitewater by technical fall 17-0 and then Lance Fabry of Wis.-Stevens Point 5-0. Preston would also wrap-up his day with a pin fall, taking down Parker Peterson from Wis.-Oshkosh just 1:02 into their match.
Four other Trine wrestler picked up wins on the day. At 149 pounds, freshman Jon Blanton (Alexandria, Ind./Alexandria) defeated Mason McMullen from Wis.-Oshkosh 6-0. In the 141 division, Jon’s brother Josh Blanton (Alexandria, Ind./Alexandria) fell to two nationally ranked opponents before edging out Justin Schienebeck from Wis.-Oshkosh 10-9.
In the two highest classes, both sophomore Mac Green (Buchanan, Mich./Buchanan) and junior Shane Hendrickson (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Memorial) fell to two nationally ranked wrestlers. Green though would pick up a victory at 197 pounds over Korey Kleinhans of Wis.-Oshkosh 3-1. In the heavyweight division, Hendrickson would seal the victory for the Thunder over Wis.-Oshkosh as he pinned Dakota Daniels at 4:23 of their match.
In a flighted match, Anders Douglas (Monticello, Ind./Twin Lakes) picked up a win in the 133 weight class, defeating Eric Tokarski from Olivet 6-2.
Trine will travel to Wheaton (IL) for the two-day Pete Wilson Invitational beginning February 1.
1/18 - Top Ranked Wrestlers Lead Thunder in Dual Match
OLIVET, Mich. - In their first head-to-head meeting of the season, the Trine University wrestling team fell to their rival Olivet College 31-10. The Thunder are now 2-10 on the season in dual matches.
Olivet came into the match ranked 16th in the nation and seven individually ranked wrestlers.
Trine senior Elias Larson (Chicago, Ill./Marion Catholic), the top ranked wrestler in Division III at 157 pounds easily defeated Kyle Witgen 13-1. At 174 pounds, eight ranked Trine senior Ryan Pieper (Onsted, Mich./Onsted) defeated Connor Sharp 9-3. Also earning a win for the Thunder was sophomore Brandon Preston (Logansport, Ind./Logansport). Preston, who currently ranks 25th in the 125 weight class, took down Esteban Gonzales 7-5.
The Thunder also dropped two close overtime matches to the Comets. The first came in the 133 class as freshman Nick Ader (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli) fell 4-2 to Michael Gancer who is ranked 10th nationally. At 141 pounds freshman Josh Blanton (Alexandria, Ind./Alexandria) dropped his match 11-7 in the extra period to 16th ranked Kenny Richmond.
Trine will next travel to Wisconsin for the Border Brawl Duals beginning at 10:30 a.m. (cst) on January 26th.
1/12 - Pieper and Preston Undefeated at Whitehill Duals
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - At the 25th annual Budd Whitehill National Wrestling Duals hosted by Lycoming College, the Trine University squad finished with a 1-3 record during the two-day event.
The Thunder drew one of the five ranked teams in the 20 team tournament in their opening round in 23rd ranked The College of New Jersey. The Thunder fell to TCNJ 26-9 before also falling to Thiel 25-19 and Waynesburg 21-19 on Friday. The Thunder picked up their win in their final match of the tournament 32-9 over Gettysburg.
Two Thunder wrestlers, senior Ryan Pieper (Onsted, Mich./Onsted) and sophomore Brandon Preston (Logansport, Ind./Logansport) went a perfect 4-0 on the weekend.
Pieper, the 8th ranked wrestler at 174 pounds, took down his first opponent Kenneth Murphy from TCNJ 6-1. Pieper followed with a decisive 15-7 victory over Marco Crivelli of Thiel. Pieper would then face two fellow nationally ranked opponents. Pieper handled 22nd ranked Anthony Bonaventura from Waynesburg 3-1 before defeating 5th ranked Zach Thomson from Gettysburg 5-2.
Preston took to the mats with something to prove after falling out the national rankings for the first time all season and he responded by winning two of his matches by pin fall and another by a major decision. Preston dispatched Kevin Churchill from TCNJ 9-5 before pinning Lance Preston from Thiel 5:40 into their match. In the third match, Preston earned a shutout over Gordon Bieber of Waynesburg by a major decision 13-0. In the final match of the tournament, Preston would again earn the pin, this time just 2:22 into his match over Holt Johnson from Gettysburg.
Sophomore Mac Green (Buchanan, Mich./Buchanan) entered the Division III national rankings for the first time this week, ranked 20th in the 197 weight class. Green opened the tournament taking a 3-1 decision over Dan Brill from TCNJ. Green dropped his only match of the weekend to Jacob Lowry, who was wrestling up from his usual 184 weight class where he is ranked 13th. Green rebounding with back-to-back wins by scores of 3-1 over Patrick Jennings of Waynesburg and Marshall Puls of Gettysburg.
Freshman Nick Ader (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli) also picked up three wins for the team, one of which came by way of a forfeit. Ader’s lone loss came in his opening match. Ader would take it out on his next opponent Michael Klosiewicz of Thiel, pinning him just 33 seconds into the second round. Ader wrapped up the weekend picking up a huge win over Matt Laux from Gettysburg by tech fall 21-6 in just 6:30.
Brothers Jon and Josh Blanton (Alexandria, Ind./Alexandria) each picked up a pair of wins. In the 149 weight class, Jon took home a 14-12 victory over Jordan Smith of Thiel and defeated Eddie Carroll from Gettysburg 10-9. Meanwhile at 141 pounds Josh picked up wins over Jake Vitolo of Waynesburg 8-4 before closing out the tournament with a pin fall victory over Matt Spano of Gettysburg at 6:25 of their match.
The wrestlers will return to action on January 18 when they travel to Olivet for a dual meet with the Comets beginning at 7:00 p.m.
1/5 - Thunder Finish 1-3 at Chuck Porter Duals
GALESBURG, Ill. - The Trine University wrestling team finished with a 1-3 record at the Chuck Porter Duals hosted by Knox College. The Thunder now have a record of 1-6 in dual meets this season.
The Thunder opened competition falling to Luther (IA) 30-15 and then 33-10 to Augustana (IL). Trine dominated Hannibal-LaGrange (MO) 44-6 for their lone win. Trine ended the competition dropping a close bout to Loras (IA) 29-18.
Senior All-American Elias Larson (Chicago, Ill./Marion Catholic) was the lone Thunder wrestler to go undefeated on the day. The top ranked wrestler at 157 pounds, Larson won three of his matches by pin. Larson started off by pinning Jake Fox of Luther at 1:15, and then defeated Kevin Sundberg of Augustana 13-3. Larson then pinned his final two opponents in nearly identical times, beating James Townsend of Hannibal-LaGrange at 1:27 and Chris Lewis of Loras at 1:30.
The trio of senior Ryan Pieper (Onsted, Mich./Onsted) and sophomores Mack Green (Buchanan, Mich./Buchanan) and Brandon Preston (Logansport, Ind./Logansport) each finished with a 3-1 record.
Pieper, the #4 ranked wrestler in the 174 weight class, defeated Jarid Groth from Luther in their opening match 5-1. Pieper’s lone loss came at the hands of #13 Matthew Burns of Augustana 6-5. Pieper would rebound defeating Nathan Downs Hannibal-LaGrange 13-4 and 20th ranked Stephan Birt of Loras 10-3.
Preston, currently ranked #26 at 125 pounds, won his opening match 4-2 over Nick Scheffert from Luther. Facing the fourth ranked wrestler in his class, Preston fell to Jake Scholton from Augustana 13-2. Preston would then win his final two matches by forfeit.
At 197 pounds, Green’s lone loss came in his first match to the #2 ranked Trent Flegel of Luther 4-2. Green then would go on to defeat Jake Melik of Augustana 4-1 and Malcom Watson from Loras 4-2. Green also took home a win by forfeit.
Freshman Nick Ader (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli) turned in a solid day with a 2-2 record in the 133 division. Ader faced some very tough competition as both his losses came to nationally ranked opponents. Ader fell to fifth ranked Even Obert of Luther and #15 Nick Steger of Loras. Ader took home victories over Jimmy Panozzo from Augustana 4-2 and shutout Harry Jacobsen of Hannibal-LaGrange 13-0.
Fellow freshman Jon Blanton (Alexandria, Ind./Alexandria) also went 2-2 in the duals, defeating John Leibforth of Luther 4-3 and Tyler Sonnabend from Hannibal-LaGrange 8-6.
In the heavyweight division, junior Shane Hendrickson (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Memorial) took home a victory over Mike Wright from Hannibal-LaGrange 6-4.Hendrickson also faced some tough competition including the fourth ranked wrestler in his division.
The wrestlers will return to action next weekend when they travel to Williamsport, Penn. for the two-day Budd Whitehill Duals hosted by Lycoming College beginning January 11 at 9:00 a.m.
12/16 - Wrestlers 20th at Midwest Classic
INDIANAPOLIS - The Trine University wrestling team finished 20th with 14 points at the 34th annual Midwest Classic, hosted by the University of Indianapolis.
Newberry, the fifth ranked team in Division II took the team title with 159.5 points. The Thunder were second amongst all Division III schools behind 17th ranked Ohio Northern who finished seventh.
Leading the way for the Thunder was third ranked Ryan Piper (Onsted, Mich./Onsted) in the 174 division. The senior pinned his first opponent Anthony Navarro of Division II Northern State just 42 seconds into the second period. Pieper followed up with a 9-2 decision over Brandon O`Neill of Division II Ashland. The following match wouldn’t go his way as he fell to Elliot Copeland also from a Division II school, Western State.
In the 125 weight class, 22nd ranked sophomore Brandon Preston (Logansport, Ind./Logansport) won his opening match in decisive fashion, taking a major decision victory 13-2 over Division II Douglas Allembaugh from Central Missouri. Preston then took down Felix Casa del Valle from Lindsey Wilson out of the NAIA, 5-3. In his next two matches, Preston dropped decisions to Division II opponents, including his final match where he fell by just one points 9-8.
Picking up a win in the 133 division was freshman Nick Ader (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli). It took extra time, but Ader was able to defeat William Bryant from Mount St Joseph 3-1.
At 197, sophomore Mack Green (Buchanan, Mich./Buchanan) earned a pin on Justin Meineke also from Mount St Joseph at 4:52 of their match.
Trine will take the rest of 2012 off before returning to action on January 5 at the Chuck Porter Duals hosted by Knox College beginning at 9:00 a.m.
12/8 - Preston and Green Pick up Silver in Iowa
WAVERLY, Iowa - At the Dick Walker Invitational hosted by Wartburg College, the Trine University wrestling team finished fifth with 36.5 points. The Thunder faced some stiff competition as they went up against seven schools, including the host and top ranked team in Division III Wartburg along with #2 Augsburg, #4 Coe and 28th ranked Loras.
The Thunder picked up two runner-up finishes by a pair of sophomores in 22nd ranked Brandon Preston (Logansport, Ind./Logansport) in the 125 weight class and Mack Green (Buchanan, Mich./Buchanan) at 197 pounds.
Preston picked up his first two wins by pin, taking down Dustin Horne from Iowa Lakes Community College at 4 minutes and 40 seconds and then Dakota Boesch of Wartburg at 2:49. Preston would advance to the finals by defeating 2nd seeded Tristan Bundy from Iowa Central Community College 7-5. In the finals though, Preston would face his toughest opponent of the season, falling to the top ranked wrestler in Division III in Gilberto Camacho from Wartburg.
Green needed just two wins to advance to the finals as took a close decision in his opening match, defeating Steven Kleamenakis from Wartburg 4-2. Green then easily took care of Colton Kelly of Cornell 10-5 to advance to the finals. In the championship match, Green dropped a tough one to 20th ranked Punahele Soriano from Wartburg 8-3.
In addition to Preston, Trine also took home a sixth place finish at 125 by freshman Matt Fane (Auburn, Ind./DeKalb). In his opening match, Fane defeated Chad McCannon from Iowa Central 5-3. After dropping his next match to fall into the consolation bracket, Fane rebounded with a 4-2 decision over Stephen Kettner of Loras. Fane then took down Horne 10-5 before falling to Bundy 11-3 to drop to the fifth place match. In the final match, Fane dropped his second match of the day to Scott Smith from Cornell by a narrow 5-4 decision.
Also taking home a sixth place finish was freshman Josh Blanton (Alexandria, Ind./Alexandria) in the 141 division. Blanton defeated Beau Westpfahl from Coe in their opening match 8-5 before falling in his second round match. Blanton rebounded with a 7-5 decision over Samuel Chalkley of Cornell and an 11-9 victory over Todd Murakawa also from Cornell. Blanton dropped his final two matches of the day to the sixth and fourth seeded wrestlers.
At 165 pounds, freshman Trevon Jordan (Sykesville, Md./Meade Senior) picked up a win in the consolation bracket 5-0 over Ben Rosen of Cornell.
Trine will next participate in the 34th annual Midwest Classic hosted by the University of Indianapolis. The two-day meet begins on December 15 at 10:00 a.m.
12/1 - Pieper Takes Wrestling Gold at Indiana Little State
INDIANAPOLIS - The Trine University wrestling squad took to the mats for the Indiana Little State Tournament hosted by the University of Indianapolis. Eleven different Thunder wrestlers placed in the top eight, leading the way with the teams only gold was senior Ryan Pieper (Onsted, Mich./Onsted).
Pieper, the sixth ranked wrestler in Division III at 174 pounds, dominated his first three opponents by a combined score of 39-3. Pieper won his opening match by a major decision 10-1 over Brett Thumm of Wabash. He would follow that with a tech fall win over Tim Miller of Calumet St. Joseph 18-2 and in the semi-finals defeated Chris Pingleton of Lincoln in a major decision 11-0. In the championship match, Pieper took down Division II Shelby Mappes of Indianapolis 6-3.
In the 197 weight class, sophomore Mack Green (Buchanan, Mich./Buchanan) picked up a third place finish, dropping just one match on the day, his opener. Green would rebound though defeating Jake Barclay of Wabash 7-0 and Archie Williams of Lincoln Dec 7-5 to advance to the 3rd place match. Green would pick up the bronze, winning a hard-fought decision 3-2 over Eric Johnson of Calumet St. Joseph.
Also picking up a third place finish was freshman Nick Ader (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli) in 133 division. Ader dropped his first match of the day by a narrow 6-4 decision but would bounce back defeating Kalib Jackson of Manchester 5-3. In the 3rd place match Ader needed overtime to take home the bronze as he took down Stephen Hill of Cumberlands 8-6.
At 125 pounds, sophomore Brandon Preston (Logansport, Ind./Logansport) finished fourth with a 3-2 record. Preston, the 17th ranked wrestler in Division III, won his opening match easily by major decision 19-6 over Justin Agee from Indiana Tech. Preston would follow by getting a shutout over Marc Escobedo from Wabash 7-0 before dropping his first match. Preston then defeated Andrew Tillman of Cumberlands 8-7to advance to the 3rd place match but just missed out on the bronze, falling 6-5.
Picking up sixth place finishes were a pair of freshmen in Jon Blanton (Alexandria, Ind./Alexandria) and Anders Douglass (Monticello, Ind./Twin Lakes). At 149 pounds, Blanton picked up two wins, a major decision over Joey Reis from Lincoln 11-3 and Kyle Nardi of Wabash 3-1. In the 133 weight class, Douglass took a home win by pin fall, defeating Aaron Davis from Wabash at 6:24 of their match.
Junior Shane Hendrickson (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Memorial) and sophomore Nick Fruits (Lebanon, Ind./Lebanon) each took home seventh place finishes in their classes. Fruits won twice at 174, both of which came over Kyle Harris of Lincoln. In their first match, Fruits picked up the win by a score of 5-0 and then in the 7th place match Fruits took the 10-3 decision. In the heavyweight division, Hendrickson dropped his opening match but then rebounded with consecutive wins by pin fall. Hendrickson pinned Alex Sullivan from Muskingum at 3:27 then just 1:33 into their match pinned Trevor Phillips of Wabash.
Freshmen Matt Frane (Auburn, Ind./DeKalb), Nick Leonhard (Portland, Ind./Jay County) and sophomore Jacob Schroder (Rochester, Ind./Rochester) all finished in eighth place. In the 125 weight class, Frane won his opening match by major decision 14-6 over Alec Weise of Wabash. Frane would later defeat Justin Agee of Indiana Tech. 7-1. At 157 pounds Leonhard defeated fellow freshman and teammate Kyle Clevenger (Syracuse, Ind./Wawasee) by major decision 10-0. Schroder also picked up a win in the 165 division defeated Ben Farmer from Wabash 5-0.
Trine will return to action on December 8 when they travel to Waverly Iowa for the Dick Walker Invitational.
11/17 - Thunder Compete at Comet Duals
OLIVET, Mich. - The Trine University wrestling team competed at the Olivet Comet Duals where they dropped three matches on the day, including two to nationally ranked teams. Trine opened with a 42-6 loss to No. 6 Wisconsin-La Crosse. The Thunder then faced Heidelberg where they fell 35-10. Trine closed out their day facing 10th ranked Ohio Northern University but fell in their closest match of the day 25-12.
The Thunder were led by senior Ryan Pieper (Onsted, Mich./Onsted). Pieper, the 7th ranked wrestler at 174 pounds won his opening match over 15th ranked Grant Miller from Wis.-La Crosse 3-1 in overtime. Pieper followed that up with a 10-2 victory over Andrew Leis of Heidelberg. In his final match of the day, Pieper faced another nationally ranked opponent in defending national champion, No. 1 Kyle Kwiat of Ohio Northern. Pieper put up a fight but fell in a tough 8-5 match.
Sophomore Brandon Preston (Logansport, Ind./Logansport) also had an outstanding day, going 2-1. Preston opened the day defeating Izzy Balsiger of Wis.-La Crosse 3-2 in the 125 pound class. Preston moved up to 133 for his second match, but fell, before returning to 125lbs for his final match of the day where he defeated Jerome Pasquale of Ohio Northern 6-1.
Also going 2-1 in the heavyweight division for the Thunder was sophomore Mack Green (Buchanan, Mich./Buchanan). Green’s lone loss of the day came in his opening match to 3rd ranked Billy Mayer. Green would pin Jesse Villers of Heidelberg at 3:27 of their match. In the final match of the day Green picked up a shutout over Kody Bellamy of Ohio Northern 6-0.
At 149lbs, freshman Jon Blanton (Alexandria, Ind./Alexandria) picked up a win over Ryan Fowler of Ohio Northern in a 7-3 victory. Blanton also fell to 10th ranked Andrew Johnson of Heidelberg.
Freshman Nick Ader (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli) followed Blanton’s path as he also picked up a 6-0 win over Nathan Grieser Ohio Northern at 133 pounds. Ader moved up to the 141 weight class against Heidelberg but fell to 20th ranked Chris Osborne.
The team will take a couple of weeks off before returning to action at the two-day Indiana Little State Open in Indianapolis beginning December 1.
11/11 - Wrestlers Open Season at Michigan State
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Trine University wrestling team opened their season by competing at the Michigan State Open on Sunday, November 11 where they faces 29 other teams, including 16 NCAA Division I schools.
Two-Time All-American, and the top ranked Division III wrestler at 157 pounds, senior Elias Larson (Chicago, Ill./Marion Catholic) picked up a win over Chad Ryan from Division I Colombia University 5-3. Larson would fall to eventual runner-up in Ryan Watts from Michigan State before withdrawing from his final match.
Making his debut for the Thunder was freshman Jon Blanton (Alexandria, Ind./Alexandria) at the 149 weight class in the freshman/sophomore bracket. Blanton started his collegiate career off with a victory over Mitchell Kelsey in a major decision 8-0. Blanton would follow up with a 10-6 decision over Alex Gordon from The Ohio State University. Blanton would drop his next match in the quarterfinals 10-6 to eventual runner-up Joey White from Division II Findlay. Blanton ended his day with a loss to Carter Augustyn from Division II Grand Valley State.
Coming off a national appearance, senior Ryan Pieper (Onsted, Mich./Onsted) dropped both of his matches in the 174 division open tournament. Pieper fell to Stephen McPeek of Division I Bucknell in the opening round, before bowing out to Jake Meyers from Olivet in a close 4-3 match.
Trine’s other wrestler to compete was sophomore Brandon Preston (Logansport, Ind./Logansport) in the 125 class of the freshman/sophomore division. Preston had a tough day as both the opponents he faced were from NCAA Division I schools. Preston dropped his first match to Hermilo Esquivel from the University of Michigan and then fell to Del Vinas from Kent State.
The rest of the Thunder will get in on the action when they travel to Olivet on November 17 for the Comet Duals beginning at 10:00 a.m.