EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Trine University wrestling team opened their season by competing at the Michigan State Open on Sunday, November 11 where they faces 29 other teams, including 16 NCAA Division I schools.
Two-Time All-American, and the top ranked Division III wrestler at 157 pounds, senior Elias Larson (Chicago, Ill./Marion Catholic) picked up a win over Chad Ryan from Division I Colombia University 5-3. Larson would fall to eventual runner-up in Ryan Watts from Michigan State before withdrawing from his final match.
Making his debut for the Thunder was freshman Jon Blanton (Alexandria, Ind./Alexandria) at the 149 weight class in the freshman/sophomore bracket. Blanton started his collegiate career off with a victory over Mitchell Kelsey in a major decision 8-0. Blanton would follow up with a 10-6 decision over Alex Gordon from The Ohio State University. Blanton would drop his next match in the quarterfinals 10-6 to eventual runner-up Joey White from Division II Findlay. Blanton ended his day with a loss to Carter Augustyn from Division II Grand Valley State.
Coming off a national appearance, senior Ryan Pieper (Onsted, Mich./Onsted) dropped both of his matches in the 174 division open tournament. Pieper fell to Stephen McPeek of Division I Bucknell in the opening round, before bowing out to Jake Meyers from Olivet in a close 4-3 match.
Trine’s other wrestler to compete was sophomore Brandon Preston (Logansport, Ind./Logansport) in the 125 class of the freshman/sophomore division. Preston had a tough day as both the opponents he faced were from NCAA Division I schools. Preston dropped his first match to Hermilo Esquivel from the University of Michigan and then fell to Del Vinas from Kent State.
The rest of the Thunder will get in on the action when they travel to Olivet on November 17 for the Comet Duals beginning at 10:00 a.m.