Little Giant Grapplers Take Third at North Centralby Brent Harris • December 11, 2010
Eight Wabash wrestlers earned top-six finishes Saturday at the 2010 North Central College Wrestling Invitational. Jake Strausbaugh's individual championship at 149 pounds helped the Little Giants finish third out of ten teams overall.
Strausbaugh posted a 4-0 record for the tournament, starting with a pin 4:02 into his first match of the day against Augustana's Tyler Hernandez. Back-to-back major decisions over eighth-seeded Kaleb Ashworth from Knox College (18-6) and fourth-seed Gage Pederson of Olivet (13-3) put the top-seeded Strausbaugh into the championship bout. He scored a 9-3 victory in the finals over second-seeded Kevin Fynboh from Concordia Moorehead to win the 149-pound title.
Jake Moore finished second at 165 pounds. Moore entered the tournament as the number one seed. He started with a quick pin (1:19) against Ian Knepshield from Augustana, then won 14-3 against Jared Hutterer from Wisconsin-Platteville. A 10-6 decision over fifth-seeded Jordan Graham from Augustana sent Moore to the finals against the number two seed, Greg Schroeder from North Central. The bout went to overtime, where Schroeder scored a 4-2 sudden victory to take the title.
Josh Boyer and Pat Clegg each took third place in their respective weight classes. Boyer, the second seed at 125 pounds, scored a technical fall with a 24-7 victory in his first match, but lost 12-2 in the championship semis. A 13-9 win in the consolation semis put him against sixth-seeded Justin Fleeson of Olivet. Boyer forced overtime before winning 8-6 with a sudden victory. Teammate Marc Escobedo went 2-2 for the day, including a 3-0 loss to top-seeded Mack Drees from Platteville in the quarterfinals, to finish fifth at 125 pounds with a 2-1 win against fifth-seeded Nicolas Santos from North Central.
Clegg was wrestling for the first time this season after earning significant playing time for the Wabash football team this fall. The sophomore heavyweight started with a pin in his first match, then scored a 7-4 win the quarterfinals before being pinned in the semis. He rallied for a 9-4 victory in the championship round to take third place.
Graham Youngs took fourth place at 157 pounds with a record of 4-2. Jimmy LaRowe finished in sixth place at 157 pounds. Greg Rhoads was fourth in the 184-pound weight class with a record of 2-2. Devan Young took fifth place at 285 pounds by scoring four wins in the consolation bracket.
Concordia Moorehead won the team competition with a total 145.5 points. Olivet College was second (144) while Wabash scored 119 points.
The Little Giants return to the mats on December 18-19 at the Midwest Classic, hosted by the University of Indianapolis.
Photo - The Wabash wrestling team celebrates its third-place finish at the 2010 North Central Invitational.