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Mount Union Invitational provides first test for wrestling

by Zach Wagner - Copy Editor
Tue, Nov 12th 2019 09:00 pm
Junior Wesley Woodworth prepares for a round against a wrestler from Penn State - Behrend on Friday,  Nov. 1. Woodworth lost both of his bouts at the Mount Union Invitational.
Junior Wesley Woodworth prepares for a round against a wrestler from Penn State - Behrend on Friday, Nov. 1. Woodworth lost both of his bouts at the Mount Union Invitational.

The College at Brockport wrestling team took the four-and-a-half-hour voyage to Alliance, Ohio to compete in the 2019 Mount Union Wrestling Invitational. The Golden Eagles were put to the test, stacking up against some good competition, including some ranked Division II and Division III competition. Out of 12 teams, the green and gold grabbed eighth place, along with some individual victories.

The host, Mount Union College, is currently ranked fifth in the country among all Division III colleges. Gannon University, a school out of Pennsylvania, and Bellarmine College from Kentucky hold the #23 and #24 spots, respectively, among Division II programs in the country. With this being one of the first outings for Brockport, it was a good early season test against some solid squads.

Despite the tough field, Brockport left Mount Union with some accolades. Sophomore Austin Reed was able to secure a first place finish in the 149-pound weight class. Coming into the invitational as the #1 seed, Reed received a first round bye, making things a little easier on him.

“I won the 149-pound weight class in the freshman/sophomore division after going 3—0 on the day,” Reed said. “I started out the day with a bye — then wrestled Cole Stoddard from Belmont Abbey, a Division II school, and pinned him in six minutes 30 seconds.”

Freshman Justin Jones was able to prevail in his bracket, taking home first place in the 198-pound weight class. In his first match, Jones won by majority decision. He followed that up with two more decision victories in his final two matches to finish off his weight class. Coming in as a lower seed, Jones went in focused on the task at hand, blocking out all the extra noise.

“It honestly feels great,” Jones said. “Expectations for my performance were low, considering I was seeded pretty low. I never worry about seeding and I generally don’t bother to look at track wrestling, or school names.”  

Freshman Austin Sergeant was the third and final Golden Eagle to win in his respective bracket, taking the 142-pound weight class in dominant fashion. He was able to pin his opponents twice, while winning one match by a technical fall.

There were other impressive performances from some of the members of the team aside from Reed, Jones and Sergeant. Freshman Robert Billett took fourth place in the 150-pound weight class. Freshman Karam Ali was able to snag himself a fifth place finish in the 198-pound weight class, while sophomore Matt Caccasmise, who came in third place in the national meet last season, also finished in third in the 125-pound weight class at Mount Union.

The Golden Eagles wrestling team is just getting started and looks to perform even better to get back on the winning path as the season progresses. After getting some of the early-season jitters out of their system, the wrestlers are ready to put their heads down and work, focusing on getting better week in and week out.

“After competing in the first few matches of the year, it allows all of us to get the butterflies out and shows us what we need to improve on before the end of the year,” Reed said. “We have a young team that is expecting to do big things in the future.”

Heading deeper into the season, the Golden Eagle wrestlers have a two week break before they are back in action on Saturday, Nov. 24. They will be headed to SUNY Oswego, New York for the 51st annual New York State Collegiate Championships, where Brockport will face an abundance of teams in Division I and Division III school, as well as community colleges, all residing in New York State. With a young squad mixed with talented veterans, Brockport has much room for improvement and looks to gain more experience as the season progresses.

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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