DES MOINES, Iowa— After falling in their first dual of the day, the Lake Erie College wrestling team battled passed tough competition to move on to day two of the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals.
The Storm fell in their first dual of the day to 10th-ranked Upper Iowa University, 40-8. Austin Gillihan (Corry, Pa./Corry Area) and Zak Vargo (Stow, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy) picked up wins. Gillihan was impressive in his first match of the day, picking up a 17-0 technical fall over Matt Paulus at 133-pounds. Vargo, ranked second in the nation, trailed 2-1 heading into the third round of his 157-pound bout before tying it up and sending the match into overtime. In the extra session, Vargo picked up the 4-2 decision with a takedown.
In their second match of the day, the Storm defeated the University of Findlay 21-16. After dropping the 125-pound match, Gillihan got the Storm on the board with a 5-3 decision over Jarad Vanvleet at 133-pounds. Findlay picked up a decision and a major decision at 141- and 149-pounds. Vargo brought the Storm back with a 3-2 decision over Jordan Cowell at 157-pounds. Findlay picked up two close decisions at 165-pounds and 174-pounds but had to forfeit 184-pounds, giving Chevy Farris (Ferndale, Mich./Ferndale) a win. Evan Rosborough (Concord Twp., Ohio/Riverside) won by pinfall over Gerald Beck in the second round at 197-pounds and Almonte Patrick (Maple Heights, Ohio/Maple Heights) defeated Luke Fleming, 4-1, at 285-pounds to secure the Storm win.
In the third dual, the Storm had a tough match against 12th-ranked Ouachita Baptist University, with the dual coming down to the final match. Ouachita Baptist picked up pinfalls in the first three matches before the Storm fought back, winning four straight. Nate Ball (Wadsworth, Ohio/Wadsworth) won a 5-1 decision over Marc Smith at 149-pounds, followed by Vargo's third win of the day at 157-pounds, this time a 6-4 decision over Bobby Williams. Tyler Tesny (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio/Cuyahoga Falls), ranked sixth in the nation at 165-pounds, defeated Andrew Martin by major decision, 13-1. Dylan Zivcic (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor/Lakeland) pinned Joey Hutchens in the first round in the 174-pound bout. After Farris was pinned at 184-pounds by Dallas Smith, currently ranked first in the nation, the Storm needed nine points in the final two bouts to move on. At 197-pounds, Rosborough picked up a 3-0 decision over O'Dell Lee. Needing a pin in the heavyweight bout to win, Patrick came through in the clutch, pinning Nathan Jackson in the second round to complete the Storm's comeback.
"We showed a lot of resilience against Ouachita Baptist to close out the day," said Storm Head Coach Kevin Hoogenboom. "We were down 18-0 to start but our guys never gave up and finished strong to move on to day two."
Vargo ended the day with a 3-0 record while Patrick went 2-0. Gillihan and Rosborough both finished at 2-1.
The Storm will face seventh-ranked Kurtztown University tomorrow morning at 9:00 am for the right to move into the fifth-place match.