The John Carroll University wrestling team, featuring a younger lineup, had a solid showing this past weekend as they finished 19th of 30 teams competing at the Pete Willson Invitational. It was held by Wheaton College in Naperville, Ill.
The Blue Streaks had a chance to place high after day one with seven competitors in the hunt for a top-eight finish. It helped that senior Ben Adams was challenging for a title in the 184-pound bracket.
After day one, the Blue Streaks were 11th, ahead of Ohio Athletic Conference rivals Ohio Northern University and Mount Union College.
In the end, and that’s really all that matters, Adams was the only Blue Streak that would place, finishing fifth. Junior Greg Stolfer finished 2-2 in the 125-pound bracket.
Freshman David Malkus, who was unseeded, finished the tournament 3-2 in the 141-pound bracket. Sophomore Connor Suba at 149 pounds, junior Jim Nemunaitis at 197 pounds and senior Alec Barker at 285 pounds all finished at 2-2.
Senior Travis Hammer was disappointed that his team couldn’t finish stronger, but was encouraged by the team’s high points total from an event that had a lot of talent.
“I think we’re able to build on this going forward,” Hammer said. “We had a lot of guys wrestle pretty well.”
Hammer thinks the team will be ready for the OAC Championships, which are coming up in less than two weeks.
“We’re getting closer to where we need to be,” he said. “Once we get everybody healthy, we’ll be ready to go.”
The OAC Championships will be held at Mount Union on Feb. 10.
Editor’s Note: Full details from Tuesday’s match against Heidelberg College were not immediately available before this edition of The Carroll News went to print. Log on to jcusports.com for details of the match.
SWIMMING & DIVING
The John Carroll University men’s and women’s swimming and diving team both scored wins over crosstown rival Baldwin-Wallace College on Jan. 30, with the men’s team winning 127-116, and the women’s team edging out the Yellow Jackets 146-65.
On the men’s side, sophomores Blake Pinchot, Alex Vereshchagin, Eric Davis and Jim Ranallo all claimed relay titles and then went on to win individual events as well.
Junior Nick Grady and freshman Drew Edson also scored individual victories.
Sophomore Stanton Kochanek qualified for the NCAA championships by recording a 477.61 in the three-meter dive, narrowly losing to B-W’s Todd Reichart. Reichart finished 14th in the country in that event at last year’s Division III National Championships.
Grady, one of the more experienced swimmers on the team, was excited by his team’s progress.
“I think our team is the strongest it’s been the entire year,” he said. “We have everybody healthy and we’re getting more focused on the OACs.”
The women’s team won in a more convincing fashion, with a Blue Streak finishing in both first and second place in each of the first five events.
Seniors Desiree Hagan and Liana Sved, both swimming in their final meet of their collegiate careers, finished first and second respectively, in the 100-meter Fly.
TRACK & FIELD
Both the men’s and women’s track and field teams competed in the OAC Relays this past weekend, with different results.
On the men’s side, the Blue Streaks finished fifth with 74 points, 40 points behind winner Ohio Northern.
Individually, the Blue Streaks were strongest in the field events, particularly the long jump.
Junior Bryan Wideman led a trio of Blue Streaks that had top-10 finishes in the event by placing fourth in the long jump, leaping over 21 feet and six inches.
Freshman Mike Minjock finished sixth and senior RK Glover placed seventh respectively, each clearing 20 feet and 10 inches. Glover also recorded a fifth-place finish in the triple jump.
Rounding out the field events, sophomore Mike Hlatky tied for second in the long jump, and junior Lou Galiano finished sixth in the shot put with a throw just shy of 45 feet.
Freshmen Billy Zaccardelli and Anthony Colbert, junior Denny Love and sophomore Drew Krainz finished third in the 4×200 relay with a time of 1:33.84.
Love and Zaccardelli then excelled individually, finishing fourth and fifth respectively, in the 55-meter hurdle race.
The Blue Streaks women’s track team struggled on the day. Their best relay finish was a pair of fifth-place finishes.
Individually, freshman Maureen Creighton placed sixth in the 55-meter dash, while senior Emily Tillmaand took sixth in the 5,000-meter run.