WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - At the 25th annual Budd Whitehill National Wrestling Duals hosted by Lycoming College, the Trine University squad finished with a 1-3 record during the two-day event.
The Thunder drew one of the five ranked teams in the 20 team tournament in their opening round in 23rd ranked The College of New Jersey. The Thunder fell to TCNJ 26-9 before also falling to Thiel 25-19 and Waynesburg 21-19 on Friday. The Thunder picked up their win in their final match of the tournament 32-9 over Gettysburg.
Two Thunder wrestlers, senior Ryan Pieper (Onsted, Mich./Onsted) and sophomore Brandon Preston (Logansport, Ind./Logansport) went a perfect 4-0 on the weekend.
Pieper, the 8th ranked wrestler at 174 pounds, took down his first opponent Kenneth Murphy from TCNJ 6-1. Pieper followed with a decisive 15-7 victory over Marco Crivelli of Thiel. Pieper would then face two fellow nationally ranked opponents. Pieper handled 22nd ranked Anthony Bonaventura from Waynesburg 3-1 before defeating 5th ranked Zach Thomson from Gettysburg 5-2.
Preston took to the mats with something to prove after falling out the national rankings for the first time all season and he responded by winning two of his matches by pin fall and another by a major decision. Preston dispatched Kevin Churchill from TCNJ 9-5 before pinning Lance Preston from Thiel 5:40 into their match. In the third match, Preston earned a shutout over Gordon Bieber of Waynesburg by a major decision 13-0. In the final match of the tournament, Preston would again earn the pin, this time just 2:22 into his match over Holt Johnson from Gettysburg.
Sophomore Mac Green (Buchanan, Mich./Buchanan) entered the Division III national rankings for the first time this week, ranked 20th in the 197 weight class. Green opened the tournament taking a 3-1 decision over Dan Brill from TCNJ. Green dropped his only match of the weekend to Jacob Lowry, who was wrestling up from his usual 184 weight class where he is ranked 13th. Green rebounding with back-to-back wins by scores of 3-1 over Patrick Jennings of Waynesburg and Marshall Puls of Gettysburg.
Freshman Nick Ader (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli) also picked up three wins for the team, one of which came by way of a forfeit. Ader’s lone loss came in his opening match. Ader would take it out on his next opponent Michael Klosiewicz of Thiel, pinning him just 33 seconds into the second round. Ader wrapped up the weekend picking up a huge win over Matt Laux from Gettysburg by tech fall 21-6 in just 6:30.
Brothers Jon and Josh Blanton (Alexandria, Ind./Alexandria) each picked up a pair of wins. In the 149 weight class, Jon took home a 14-12 victory over Jordan Smith of Thiel and defeated Eddie Carroll from Gettysburg 10-9. Meanwhile at 141 pounds Josh picked up wins over Jake Vitolo of Waynesburg 8-4 before closing out the tournament with a pin fall victory over Matt Spano of Gettysburg at 6:25 of their match.
The wrestlers will return to action on January 18 when they travel to Olivet for a dual meet with the Comets beginning at 7:00 p.m.