men's wrestling

Men’s wrestling takes third at regionals

Feb 27 • Sports • 429

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The Gannon University men’s wrestling team finished third and recorded eight place winners Saturday at the NCAA Division II Super Regional One meet at Mercyhurst University.
Five Gannon wrestlers qualified for the Division II national championships, led by George McGuire, who won the 157-pound title at the regional meet to qualify for the second straight year. Also earning a ticket to the national championships in Cleveland on March 8-9 were Jacob Dunlop, Austin Hertel, Faris Messai and Freddie Nixon.
The two teams that placed ahead of the Knights at the Super Regional One event were Pitt-Johnstown with 141 points and Kutztown with 102. The Knights tallied 94 points with Mercyhurst right behind at 93.5 and Seton Hill with 72.
McGuire received a first-round bye and began his day with a quarterfinal pinning of Marquan Payne from East Stroudsburg in 5 minutes, 22 seconds.
In the semifinal round, McGuire posted a 5-1 decision over Kutztown’s No. 10 Chad Haegele. He wrapped up the regional title by beating Corey Falleroni of Pitt-Johnstown in an 8-6 decision.That left McGuire with an 18-3 overall record on the season.
Dunlop reached the finals in the 125-pound class but lost a 6-0 decision to Pitt-Johnstown’s Brendan Howard in the championship match.
Dunlop advanced to the championship match after a 13-2 major decision over Mercyhurst’s Jacob Ruggeri in the semifinals. He takes an 18-8 record into the national championships.
Hertel placed third with a 3-1 record at 133 pounds. After a first-round bye, he defeated Pitt-Johnstown’s Matthew Siszka, 3-2, in the quarterfinals before falling to Mercyhurst’s Alexis Soriano, 4-3, in the semifinals.
Hertel rebounded to win in the consolation semifinals and then defeated Siszka, again by a 3-2 score, in the third-place bout.
Messai, competing at 149, placed third after receiving a first-round bye and pinning Chris Gomez of LIU in 2:08 during the quarterfinal match. He lost in the semifinals to Seton Hill’s Austin Shaw by a 10-9 decision but rebounded to win his last two matches, the last of which came by an 8-3 decision over Gomez.
Nixon, wrestling at 197, placed third with a 4-1 record. He posted a 3-1 victory over LIU’s Mark Malico in the first round and advanced to semifinals with an 8-3 decision over Kutztown’s James Meyer.
Nixon dropped a 3-2 decision in the semis to Colton Dull of Millersville but advanced to the third-place bout with a 4-2 overtime win over LIU’s Mark Malico. He then secured a trip to the national championships with a 10-5 decision over Meyer.
The five Gannon national qualifiers are the most the program has seen in two seasons.
Gannon also had two fifth-place finishers at the regional meet in Anthony Williamson at 174 pounds and Joel Leise at 184 pounds. Both finished with 3-2 records on the day.
Also competing at the regional meet were Nick Young, who went 1-3 at 141 pounds to finish sixth; Connor Day, who lost his only two bouts at 165; and Keith Swartley, who also went 0-2 at 285.
KEEFER GREGOIRE
gregoire001@knights.gannon.edu

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