ADA -- Thirty-five Heidelberg University wrestlers took to the mats at the 35th annual Ohio Northern University Invitational on Saturday. Seven Student Princes placed, helped HU to a fourth-place finish.
141: Justin Kihn (4-1) wrestled to a third-place finish. Kihn received a pair of byes, then defeated Alex Pollera (Washington & Lee) 7-0. He then stuck Trenton Roesly (Adrian) in 2:04. After a tough 7-6 loss, Kihn picked up a 7-3 decision in the consolation bracket. In the third place match, he pinned Filippo Crivelli (Waynesburg) in 3:00. Joey Baitt (2-2) did not place.
149: Damon Cheek (4-1) had HU's best finish, falling in the championship match. Cheek took a pair of major decisions (12-0 over Alma's Evan Bryant and 9-0 over Lindsey Wilson's Avery Martin) to start. A pair of close wins (3-2 over Trine's Zach Krumlauf and 1-0 over Campbellsville's Andrew Hoskins) put Cheek in the finals. He lost in sudden victory, 6-4, to Lycoming's Seth Lansberry. Chris Cross (1-2), Tyler Majoy (1-2), Kendall Newell (1-2), Ivan Franks (0-2) and Noah Messerall (3-2) did not place.
157: Mark Carosella (3-3) wrestled to a sixth-place finish. After a bye, Carosella dominated Clayton Davidson (Ohio Northern), 12-1. After an 8-2 setback put him in the consolation bracket, he won twice more (9-2 over Alma's Jared Fleming and 9-8 over Olivet's Anthony Long) to advance to the fifth-place match, where he fell, 11-1. Joeseph Fisher (0-2) did not place.
165: Aaron Banko (4-2) claimed fourth with three pins. Following a bye, he pinned Brandon Gay (Trine) in 2:59. Following a loss, he pinned teammate Chris White in 3:27. Next, he pinned Olivet's Kevin Papak in 6:32. A 3-0 win over Campbellsville's LJ Henderson pushed Banko into the third-place match. There, Findlay's Nicholas Skonieczny beat him 4-1. White (1-2) did not place.
174: Myles Wright (6-2) finished fifth, the hard way. In the first round, he lost to Findlay's Bradley Metz. In the wrestle-backs, Wright did just that. He pinned Tristan Nichalson (Waynesburg) in 1:35, Mike Millero (Waynesburg) in 1:33, beat Austin Windle (Ohio Northern) 15-9, majored Max Dole (Ohio Northern) 14-6 and pinned Taylor McPhail (Alma) in 2:00. In the consolation semis, he lost 6-1, then won the fifth-place match with by medical forfeit. Jack Knoll (1-2), Tyler Hammack (3-2), Hayden Miller (1-2), Darren Decker (2-2) and Spencer Geil (0-2) did not place.
197: Gage Finnegan (3-3) took sixth. A bye and an overtime win put him in the quarterfinals, where he was pinned. In the consolations, he beat Evan Hickey (Ohio Northern) 2-1 and Chance Smith (Alma) 5-2. He was then pinned into the fifth-place match, where he lost a 9-8 barnburner. Matt Shurina (2-2), Christian Climer (1-2), Rickey Bruce (2-2) and Eppe Saarenheimo-Vanderhorst (0-2) did not place.
285: John Eckroth, in his first action after football season, wrestled his way to sixth place. He beat Cody Hogston (Findlay) 8-4 before he lost 3-1. He reeled off four straight wins – a forfeit over Tyler Prater (Trine), a 5-3 win over Joe Stasiak (Trine), a 5-3 win over Greg Biben (Ohio Northern) and a 6-4 sudden victory win over Caleb Fry (Tiffin). Kody Bellamy (Ohio Northern), who beat Eckroth earlier, won again, 3-2 in overtime. In the fifth-place match, Jesse Judge (Olivet) pinned the Student Prince early. Napoleon Bell (0-2) and Kyle Jenkin (2-2) did not place.
The Student Princes return to the mats for a mid-week non-conference dual at Alma on Thursday.