Second year head coach Ned Shuck and a portion of the Heidelberg University wrestling team traveled to Alma, Michigan and the campus of Alma College to participate in the Mid-State Invitational.
Freshman 133-pounder Justin Kihn (Kettering/Kettering Fairmont) claimed first place, leading the Berg in Alma.
“Justin had a great day,” said Shuck. “We know he is capable of beating some of the best guys in the country and he showed that on Saturday.”
On his way to a first place finish, Kihn recorded three decisions and a fall.
“Unfortunately due to an injury on the first day of practice, Justin couldn’t get on the mat until half way through the season,” said Shuck. “However, Justin is progressing quickly and is really hungry. Last Friday, Justin lost to Kameron Olsen of Olivet who he beat in the quarterfinals at Alma, 8-3 showing how fast he can make significant improvements,” Shuck added.
Justin finished his performance at the Mid-State Invitational with a 5-2 victory over Michael Gancer of Olivet, who is ranked 13th in the nation at 133-pounds.
Shuck described Kihn's fianls match as a “solid and controlling win.”
Before Kihn claimed the 133-pound individual title, freshman Tyler Price (Pataskala/Licking Heights) finished fifth at 125-pounds for the Student Princes.
Price wrestled to a 4-2 finish collecting one fall, one technical fall and two decisions on his way to the podium.
Junior 157-pounder Ian Gillespie (Cincinnati/Elder), 174-pound freshman Matt Shurina (Cadiz/Harrison Central) and senior 184-pounder Kyle Shock (Attica/Seneca East) all claimed seventh place in their respective weight classes.
Senior 157-pounder Andrew Leis (Elida) recorded an eighth place finish, losing to teammate Ian Gillespie in the seventh-eighth-place finals match.
Freshman Damon Cheek (Bellevue), coming off of his crucial victory in the Ohio Northern dual match last Tuesday, February 12, did not finish competition in Alma due to injury.
The Heidelberg grapplers finished fourth in the team standings with 58 total points. Host Alma College claimed first with 203 points, followed by Wabash College’s 171.5 and Olivet College’s 165.5. Ohio Athletic Conference foe Ohio Northern finished four points behind the Student Princes with 54.
“The tournament was a good place to see the progress that a lot of our wrestlers made throughout the year and some throughout their careers,” said Shuck. “With some of the teams entering their starting line ups, our guys were able to see where they stand. We still have a lot of work to do, but I really appreciate all of our guys effort and fight this weekend and throughout the year.”
“As a coach its always rewarding to see how much improvements guys have made. We have a bright future for many of our wrestlers,” Shuck commented.