INDIANAPOLIS - The Trine University wrestling squad took to the mats for the Indiana Little State Tournament hosted by the University of Indianapolis. Eleven different Thunder wrestlers placed in the top eight, leading the way with the teams only gold was senior Ryan Pieper (Onsted, Mich./Onsted).

Pieper, the sixth ranked wrestler in Division III at 174 pounds, dominated his first three opponents by a combined score of 39-3. Pieper won his opening match by a major decision 10-1 over Brett Thumm of Wabash. He would follow that with a tech fall win over Tim Miller of Calumet St. Joseph 18-2 and in the semi-finals defeated Chris Pingleton of Lincoln in a major decision 11-0. In the championship match, Pieper took down Division II Shelby Mappes of Indianapolis 6-3.

In the 197 weight class, sophomore Mack Green (Buchanan, Mich./Buchanan) picked up a third place finish, dropping just one match on the day, his opener. Green would rebound though defeating Jake Barclay of Wabash 7-0 and Archie Williams of Lincoln Dec 7-5 to advance to the 3rd place match. Green would pick up the bronze, winning a hard-fought decision 3-2 over Eric Johnson of Calumet St. Joseph.

Also picking up a third place finish was freshman Nick Ader (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli) in 133 division. Ader dropped his first match of the day by a narrow 6-4 decision but would bounce back defeating Kalib Jackson of Manchester 5-3. In the 3rd place match Ader needed overtime to take home the bronze as he took down Stephen Hill of Cumberlands 8-6.

At 125 pounds, sophomore Brandon Preston (Logansport, Ind./Logansport) finished fourth with a 3-2 record. Preston, the 17th ranked wrestler in Division III, won his opening match easily by major decision 19-6 over Justin Agee from Indiana Tech. Preston would follow by getting a shutout over Marc Escobedo from Wabash 7-0 before dropping his first match. Preston then defeated Andrew Tillman of Cumberlands 8-7to advance to the 3rd place match but just missed out on the bronze, falling 6-5.

Picking up sixth place finishes were a pair of freshmen in Jon Blanton (Alexandria, Ind./Alexandria) and Anders Douglass (Monticello, Ind./Twin Lakes). At 149 pounds, Blanton picked up two wins, a major decision over Joey Reis from Lincoln 11-3 and Kyle Nardi of Wabash 3-1. In the 133 weight class, Douglass took a home win by pin fall, defeating Aaron Davis from Wabash at 6:24 of their match.

Junior Shane Hendrickson (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Memorial) and sophomore Nick Fruits (Lebanon, Ind./Lebanon) each took home seventh place finishes in their classes. Fruits won twice at 174, both of which came over Kyle Harris of Lincoln. In their first match, Fruits picked up the win by a score of 5-0 and then in the 7th place match Fruits took the 10-3 decision. In the heavyweight division, Hendrickson dropped his opening match but then rebounded with consecutive wins by pin fall.  Hendrickson pinned Alex Sullivan from Muskingum at 3:27 then just 1:33 into their match pinned Trevor Phillips of Wabash.

Freshmen Matt Frane (Auburn, Ind./DeKalb), Nick Leonhard (Portland, Ind./Jay County) and sophomore Jacob Schroder (Rochester, Ind./Rochester)  all finished in eighth place. In the 125 weight class, Frane won his opening match by major decision 14-6 over Alec Weise of Wabash. Frane would later defeat Justin Agee of Indiana Tech. 7-1. At 157 pounds Leonhard defeated fellow freshman and teammate Kyle Clevenger (Syracuse, Ind./Wawasee) by major decision 10-0. Schroder also picked up a win in the 165 division defeated Ben Farmer from Wabash 5-0.

Trine will return to action on December 8 when they travel to Waverly Iowa for the Dick Walker Invitational.