Head coach Ned Shuck and the Heidelberg University wrestling team traveled to Ada, Ohio to compete in the Ohio Northern Open Invitational. The Berg placed eight individuals and finished sixth as a team, finishing one spot behind the host and 13th ranked Polar Bears.
The Comets of Olivet College claimed first in the team standings with 140.5 points, followed by Campbellsville University’s 128. The Heidelberg men collected 89.5 points as a team, just short of the Polar Bear’s 94.5.
Senior Justin Wharton (Oregon/Clay) and sophomore Jason Russell (Columbus/West) earned top honors for the Berg, finishing second at 165-pounds and 197-pounds respectively.
Wharton, who was the number one seed at 165-pounds, began his run to a second place finish with back-to-back technical falls over Dylon Gregg of Ohio Northern and Marco Crivelli of Thiel College, by a score of 17-2 and 16-1 respectively.
Following Wharton’s pair of technical falls, he claimed a pair of decisions, first over Eric Antesberger of Washington and Lee, 3-2.
Wharton then took on fifth seed Tyler Gargano of Ohio Northern. Wharton downed the Polar Bear, 9-0 to earn a spot in the championship bout against sixth seed Matthew Tuttle of Alma College. Tuttle would end Wharton’s unbeaten streak with a pin in 0:43.
Russell entered a 197-pound bracket that featured three wrestlers ranked in the top ten nationally, including Russell; Ohio Northern’s Michael Pawlitz, ranked sixth and Logan Renas of Olivet, ranked seventh by d3wrestle.com. No. 10 Russell sat in the fourth seed in Ada, while Pawlitz and Renas, opposite Russell on the bracket, occupied the second and third seed. If all went well, Russell would face one of the two in the championship bout.
Russell faced off against Aaron Edington of Lindsey Wilson, KY. in the first round, who he downed, 12-2. Following the major decision, Russell battled Danny Doyle of West Liberty University who he defeated 9-3.
In the quarterfinals, Russell squared off with fifth seed Trevor Maresh of Alma College. The two met earlier this season at the Olivet Comet Duals, where Russell topped Maresh, 3-2. In Ada Russell managed to keep Maresh scoreless, beating him 3-0 and earning a spot in the semifinals where he would face the number one seed, Allen Scruggs of Campbellsville University.
Scruggs kept the match close, but Russell emerged the victor by a score of 5-3. With the decision Russell earned a rematch against Logan Renas, who defeated Pawlitz, 7-3 in the other semifinal match.
Russell and Renas met at the Olivet Comet Duals, where Renas handed Russell his first loss of the season with a 10-2 major decision. The rematch did not end in Russell’s favor as Renas recorded a fall in 4:32.
Sophomore Brennan Kelly (Clinton Township, MI/De La Salle) claimed fourth place at 184-pounds for the Berg, finishing the day with a record of 4-2. Kelly occupied the fifth seed at Ohio Northern and would go unbeaten until the quarterfinals, collecting a bye and a 5-0 decision.
Kelly fell to the fourth seed, Derrick Williams of West Liberty University, by a score of 7-3, but then won his next two matches in the consolation bracket. The two decision victories earned Kelly a spot in the semifinals match against third seed Cody Catalina of Waynesburg University.
Kelly scraped by Catalina, 9-8 in the semifinals and battled Jeff Holm of Olivet College in the consolation finals. Kelly wrestled tough, but fell short losing, 6-4 and claiming fourth place.
Senior Delian Schneider (Tiffin/Columbian) and junior Chris Osborne (McComb) claimed fifth place at 125-pounds and 141-pounds respectively.
Schneider finished the day at 4-2 collecting one major decision, two decisions and a medical forfeit.
Osborne wrestled seven matches by the end of the day, wrestling to a 5-2 record. He tallied one fall, one technical fall, one major decision and three decisions, one of them coming in sudden victory overtime.
Senior Andrew Johnson (Weston/Otsego) placed sixth at 149-pounds. Johnson advanced to the semifinals with two major decisions, 17-3 and 14-2 followed by a fall in 5:24. In the semifinals, Johnson lost by decision, 10-7, and dropped into the consolation semifinal bout. Johnson did not compete for the rest of the tournament due to injury.
141-pounder, freshman Tyler Majoy (Norwalk/Edison) finished seventh, losing to Osborne in the consolation semifinals. He earned a medical forfeit in the seventh-eighth-place match.
Freshman Travis Luft (Asheville/Teays Vally) wrestled 149-pounds for the Berg and finished seventh, collecting two major decisions and two decisions.
Freshmen Ryan Hornack (Medina) and Mark Carosella (North Ridgeville) both wrestled to 3-2 records in Ada and finished a match away from the podium.
The Heidelberg grapplers will return to the mat on Sunday, December 16, when they travel to Fort Myers, Florida to compete in the Florida Gulf Coast Duals. Wrestling from Fort Myers is scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m.