The John Carroll University wrestling team had a busy Winter Break, first traveling to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to compete in the 2009 Citrus Open, hosted by Cardinal Gibbons High School.
The Blue Streaks, paced by senior Ben Adams, finished fourth out of the twelve competing teams. Adams won the 184-pound bracket in convincing fashion, beating Josh Wake of Oneonta 8-4.
Freshman David Malkus, sophomore Sean Gill and senior Travis Hammer all placed fourth in their respective weight classes.
Also placing were freshman Connor Suba and junior Jim Nemunaitis, who each walked away with a fifth-place finish.
The Rev. Robert Niehoff, S.J., who had been in Florida for the holiday, attended part of the tournament, a gesture that did not go unnoticed to Blue Streak wrestlers.
“Everybody really appreciated that. He even led us in a team prayer,” said Hammer. “It was all pretty cool.”
After taking a two-week break from competition, JCU opened the 2010 calendar year with the Budd Whitehill Duals in Williamsport, Pa.
Despite numerous injuries, the Blue Streaks were able to finish 2-2, winning dual matches against Hunter and Muskingum, and losing to Lycoming and Ohio Northern.
Malkus and Adams finished the tournament undefeated at 4-0, with Nemunaitis and senior Alec Barker tallying three wins each. Senior Matt Narducci, who was limited due to injury, won both of his matches.
Narducci was one of the Blue Streaks that was hampered by injury, but Hammer didn’t seem terribly worried about the injury bug affecting the team.
“We’ve had to change the lineup around a bit, but I don’t think we’re in any trouble as far as OACs are concerned,” he said.
Following the Budd Whitehill Duals, JCU returned to conference competition for the first time since Dec. 8, when they traveled to Wilmington College on Jan. 19.
JCU edged out the Quakers, 30-12, and picked up their first conference win of the season.
Coach Kerry Volkmann’s squad picked up victories from Malkus, Suba, Gill, Hammer, Adams, Nemunatis and sophomore Vinny Pizzuli.
Up next for the Blue Streaks is the Wheaton College Invitational in Naperville, Ill. The tournament begins tomorrow and will conclude on Saturday.
Swimming & Diving
Before returning to the pool to take on Oberlin College on Friday evening, the last time the John Carroll University swimming and diving program competed was the weekend of Dec. 4, when they hosted the Carroll Classic.
After spending time training in Florida over the holiday, both the men’s and women’s teams returned to action and suffered defeats to the Oberlin program. However, both teams rebounded on Saturday afternoon with victories over Hiram College.
In the men’s victory over the Terriers, the outcome would not be determined until the very final race. The Blue Streaks entered the final event, the 400-meter Free Relay, trailing by two points.
Luckily, a pair of JCU quartets touched the wall before the foursome from Hiram was able to do so, propelling the Blue Streaks to victory.
The first foursome, consisting of sophomore Jimmy Ranallo, freshman Drew Edson, senior David Perchinske and freshman Tony Russo clocked in at 3:55.70.
The second unit, freshman David Telling, sophomore Andy Petraska, freshman Ryan Kasunic and senior Ryan Tipping finished in 4:06.81, still one second faster than Hiram’s “A” squad.
It wouldn’t be so close on the women’s squad as JCU came out on top, 161-121.
Freshman Rachel Mizner led the charge, picking up three individual victories in addition to anchoring the victorious 400-meter Medley Relay team.
She was victorious in the 50-meter, 100-meter and 200-meter Free events.
Freshman Julia Adams, who led off for the victorious 400-meter Medley Relay team, also picked up individual victories in the 100-meter and 200-meter Backstroke events.
Both the men’s and women’s teams will be in action this Saturday when they host crosstown rival Baldwin-Wallace College in the Johnson Natatorium. The action will get underway at 1 p.m.
Tough times continue for the John Carroll University club hockey team as they have dropped five straight games.
The team will look to rebound against IUP and Pittsburgh this weekend. Both games are away, with the next home game not for another two weeks, against Washington & Jefferson on Feb. 13.