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Wrestlers Take Sixth at 2011 Budd Whitehill Duals

Wabash claimed three team victories to finish in sixth place at the 2011 Budd Whitehill National Wrestling Duals over the weekend. The Little Giants knocked off RIT, Heidelberg, and Wisconsin-Whitewater.

The Little Giants opened the two-day competition with a 34-11 victory over RIT. Josh Boyer started Wabash out with a pin in his 125-pound bout at the 5:33 mark. Garrett Payne defeated Brandon Thuotte 9-6, followed by a pin by Jake Strausbaugh 2:13 into his 149-pound bout. After Jake Moore received a forfeit at 165 pounds, the Little Giants added wins by Greg Rhoads at 184 pounds (pin at 1:17), Dylan McBride at 197 pounds (10-1 major decision), and Pat Clegg at heavyweight (12-5).

The win over RIT sent Wabash to the second round against 15th-ranked The College of New Jersey. The Little Giants, entering the week ranked 28th in the nation, lost a close contest by a score of 23-14. Payne scored the first points of the match for Wabash with a 9-1 decision at 141 pounds. Strausbaugh (above left) picked up a 9-3 win at 149 pounds. Austin O'Neal added a 6-4 victory at 197 pounds, while Clegg finished with a 13-3 major decision in the final bout.

The loss send Wabash up against Heidelberg in the next round, where the Little Giants scored a 19-18 win. Early victories by Boyer (forfeit), Payne (10-5), and Strausbaugh (21-9 major decision) put the Little Giants ahead early. Heidelberg came charging back to take the lead after Rhoads had put Wabash in front with a 3-0 win. Clegg secured the victory for the Little Giants with a 5-3 win in his bout.

The Little Giants needed eight tiebreakers to advance to the finals over Wisconsin-Whitewater. The two teams tied at 19-19 in the final score, but Wabash recorded 15 takedowns versus 13 for the 26th-ranked Warhawks to take the win. Boyer (13-4 major decision), Payne (4-0) (photo right), Strausbaugh (14-8), Moore (4-2), and Rhoads (pin at 1:01) each scored individual victories.

Wabash faced 12th-ranked York in the finals, losing 21-18. Oscar Trujillo earned a 6-4 overtime win at 133 pounds. Strausbaugh followed with a 7-4 victory at 149 pounds to finish with an overall record of 5-0 for the weekend. Graham Youngs picked up a 6-4 decision at 157 pounds, with Moore adding an 8-2 win at 165 pounds. A forfeit for Clegg drew Wabash to within three points at the end.

Eight total teams ranked in the top-30 in the latest Brute/adidas National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III national poll participated at the Duals. In addition to wins over nationally-ranked Whitewater, the Little Giants finished ahead of 21st-ranked Springfield in the final team standings. 

Wabash returns to action with two home meets this week. The Little Giants will play host to Manchester College Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m. at Chadwick Court before hosting the annual Max Servies Duals on Saturday.