The John Carroll University wrestling team wrapped up the 2010-11 season on Saturday, placing fifth in the seven-team field at the Ohio Athletic Conference Championships hosted by Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio.
The University of Mount Union claimed five individual champions en route to capturing the team title. The Purple Raiders victory ended a five-year run for Heidelberg University who had won every conference tournament since 2006.
Heidelberg finished in second place, just ahead of Ohio Northern. Baldwin-Wallace College was fourth, while Muskingum University and Wilmington College rounded out the field.
“The conference was really deep this year,” said senior Tim Lambert, one of just two seniors on this year’s team. “I don’t think there’s any shame in taking fifth. Anyone that watches wrestling in this conference knows that this field was much deeper than an average year.”
One thing the Blue Streaks can hang their hat on is that they will lose just Lambert and senior Jim Gilchrist to graduation.
JCU did have two runners-up as freshman John Cobos (125 pounds) and junior Greg Ryan (141 pounds), both seeded third in their respective weight classes, lost in the title match.
Cobos defeated ONU’s Jerome Pasquale, avenging a loss from the regular season, in the semifinals.
His luck ran out against Ricky Reynolds from Mount Union in the championship bout when he was pinned.
Ryan pulled off a nice upset of his own, knocking off second-seeded Jonathan Hoopes of ONU, 5-3, in the semifinals.
He was narrowly edged in the championship by Mount Union’s Josh Malava, dropping the match 2-1.
Outside of Cobos and Ryan, JCU had third place finishers in freshman Ken Locesi (149 pounds) and redshirt sophomore Bryan Steinmetz (184 pounds).
Junior Sean Gill (165 pounds) and freshman Todd Gaydosh (174 pounds) each took fourth.
The Blue Streaks end their season with an overall record of 6-6, and they finished an even 3-3 in OAC dual meets by winning their last three matches of the regular season.
“I think we ended the regular season on a good note by winning those last three matches, so that’s something to look at heading into the offseason,” Lambert said.
He also pointed to the infusion of youth on the team as an encouraging sign going forward.
“When you look at how the younger guys did this weekend, especially young guys like John Cobos and Ken Locesi, they’re still underclassmen and they’re only going to get better,” said Lambert.