Flames finish fifth at Messiah Open despite three ankle injuries
Sophomore Garrett Good placed third at 141 pounds and senior Sean Gillespie finished fourth at 197 pounds to lead Liberty University’s men’s wrestling team to a fifth-place showing out of 20 mostly NCAA Division I teams at the Messiah (Pa.) University Open on Saturday.
The Flames racked up 160 points in total to trail only Penn (353), Columbia (316), Messiah (230), and Stevens Institute of Technology (216) in the team standings.
Liberty was already without several wrestlers who will be competing in an NCWA meet at JMU on Sunday. So the Flames were left shorthanded when 174-pound senior Ethan Martin, 149-pound junior Charles Hudson, and 235-pound senior Jeff Allen were sidelined by ankle injuries.
“This was one of the more grueling tournaments this season as this was an NCAA DI tournament,” Flames Head Coach Jesse Castro said. “Our guys were stretched to their physical limits. Too many unexpected injuries occurred today. In light of where we are, we took safety measures by pulling some wrestlers to prevent further injury.”
“On a positive note, our wrestlers are wrestling at a much higher intensity and are now able to sustain that intensity much longer in matches this season,” Castro added.
Good scored a total of 17.5 team points after his consolation final victory over Messiah’s Asa Brunk, who had to withdraw by medical forfeit. He had won his first-round match by 17-11 decision over York’s Ian Shaubach before pinning Messiah’s Trevor McGowan in 4:19 to advance to the championship semifinals, which he lost by 4-0 decision to Columbia’s Kenny Duschek. In the consolation semifinals, Good scored an 11-3 major decision over York’s Bryan Diaz.
Gillespie scored 15 team points after winning his first-round match by fall over Messiah’s Preston Nitschke-Love in 3 minutes, 58 seconds and, after losing a second-round decision, grappling his way through to the consolation final with three straight wins — by 8-4 decision over Messiah’s Micah Kunkle, 17-2 technical fall over Penn State Mt. Alto’s Kyle Davis, and 8-3 decision over Stevens’ Maximo Ruiz.
At 133 pounds, graduate Logan Robertson won three matches to score 10 points for his sixth-place finish, including a 12-3 major decision over York’s Joseph Carpenter and an 8-3 decision over Millersville’s Matthew Morris.
Similarly, junior 165-pounder David Over earned 10 points with his seventh-place showing, highlighted by pins of Muhlenberg’s Shane Trattner in 1:14 and Navy’s Luke Artz in 0:55.
Senior 125-pounder Tristan Walls placed eighth and has scored six team points based on a bye and a pin of Muhlenberg’s Danny Grigas in 1:52. Junior 157-pounder Brandon Ahlemann scored six team points after decking American’s Devon Capato in 6:05 and Nassau Community College’s Edwin Claros in 1:29.
Junior 174-pounder Edmond DeAngelis placed seventh and scored 4.5 team points by scoring a 10-4 decision over Messiah’s Wyatt Bingaman and a 5-2 decision over Stevens’ Kenneth Koenig in the seventh-place bout.
Complete results are available online.
By Ted Allen/Staff Writer