Matthews

A golden Senior Day for Gannon wrestling

Feb 13 • Sports, Wrestling • 116

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With a month left in the season, the Gannon University wrestling team is looking to dominate its last few weeks of competition.
The Knights took a big step in that direction Friday night at the Hammermill Center, when they won nine out of 10 matches on the way to a 44-3 thrashing of Lake Erie College on Senior Night.
The night was particularly special as the team celebrated the work of 11 wrestlers — Trevor Bieter, Nick Budd, Louis Crawford, Eric Lewandowski, Gunner Loughman, Chris Matthews, Leroy Oglesby, Nate Ross, Jared Sample, Jake Stratton and Nigel Toussaint.
The 44-3 triumph is one of the largest margins of victory by Gannon in the last five years.
The matchup would start with two impressive displays of technique and skill by freshmen Jacob Dunlap and Austin Hertel. Dunlap began at 125 pounds by taking a 6-1 lead and finished it early with a near-side cradle pin.
At 133 pounds, Hertel put on a tilt clinic as he earned a tech fall victory (17-2) midway through the second period.
Carmine Ciotti got the start at 141 pounds and collected his seventh pin fall win of the season 3 minutes, 42 seconds into the match. This win tied teammate Nick Budd for most pins on the season.
The Knights’ winning streak for the night didn’t stop there as George McGuire showed his aggressive style with a 16-0 tech fall win in the first period at 149 pounds. This was McGuire’s eighth of the season, ranking him tops on the team in that category and putting him among the nation’s leaders as well.
After two more team wins by Lewandowski (7-0) at 157 pounds and Matthews (9-1) at 165, Stratton took the mat and showed his skill in mat awareness.
The 174-pounder locked up a cradle in the second period on the edge of the mat, and keeping just one foot inbounds, he would claim the victory.
The night would also feature wins by Sample (forfeit) at 184 pounds and Budd (6-2) at heavyweight to give Gannon the landslide team victory.
On Sunday, Gannon sent 18 wrestlers to compete at the John Carroll Open held at University Heights, Ohio. Leading the team was freshman Freddie Nixon, who won his first career title at 197 pounds.
Nixon did so by picking up three hard-earned decision wins (4-2, 3-2 and 4-1). Other top place winners were freshmen Brandon Felkins (157 pounds) and Joel Leise (174).
Also finding their spot on the podium were Luke Walter, who placed third at 149 pounds, and Evan Fisher, who finished fourth at 157.
The Knights will finish their dual meet season on an exciting note by traveling across town to take on rival Mercyhurst University at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
The Lakers have been having an impressive season with an overall record of 11-1. Their only loss of the season came just last week as they were defeated by Pitt-Johnstown, 32-10.
Following the Mercyhurst match, Gannon’s next action will come at the NCAA Division II Super Regional One tournament, which will be held Feb. 23-24 in Johnstown.
MATTHEW NEWARA
newara008@knights.gannon.edu

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