NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. -- Sophomore Anthony Neal (Sturgis, Mich./Sturgis) captured the individual title in the 197-pound weight class to lead the Trine University wrestling team at the Mid-States Invitational hosted by Manchester University in North Manchester, Ind.
As a team, the Thunder placed sixth overall out of 10 teams with 90 points and six wrestlers place in their respective weight classes that included Neal. Wabash College finished as overall team champion with 330 points. Olivet (Mich.) College was second with 194 points and Adrian (Mich.) College followed in third place with 146 points.
Neal ended the tournament with a perfect 4-0 record on his way to claiming his title at 197 pounds. After starting the day with a bye, Neal got off to a quick start by pinning his first opponent in a time of 1:48 against Chris Wilson of Wabash. Neal then defeated Adrian's Jake Burns by major decision, 17-3, to advance to take on his second opponent from Wabash in Heath Ault and won by decision, 9-2, to earn a spot in the championship bout. In a bracket dominated by competitors from Wabash, Neal faced his third Little Giant of the day for the 197-pound crown in Grant Gough, winning by decision with a final score of 14-7.
Trine also had one individual finish as a runner-up in sophomore Nick Miller (Fort Wayne, Ind./Snider) at 174 pounds. Miller posted back-to-back wins via decision to set up a matchup in the championship bout. Miller defeated Alex Dague of Wabash, 7-5, and then beat Olivet's Kamyab Kamali, 7-2, to advance to the championship where he faced Manchester's Tristan Wilson. Miller's only loss of the day came against Wilson by a narrow, 3-2, decision and finished in second place.
Sophomore Austin Farrell (Hopkins, Mich./Allegan) finished in third place overall at 184 pounds after posting a 3-1 record on the day. Farrell captured his first match by pinfall against Bret Lane from Ohio Northern University in a time of 1:53. Farrell advanced to face Wabash's Will Amberger where he recorded a 9-3 victory to earn a spot in the quarterfinals. In the quarterfinals, Farrell fell to Alex Bair of ONU and then won the third-place match via forfeit.
In the 165-pound weight class, freshman Brandon Minear (Aurora, Colo./Regis Jesuit) finished fifth overall after finishing with a 3-1 overall mark. Following a "bye" to open competition, Minear fell to Ethan Herrin of Wabash to drop to the consolation bracket. In his next match, Miner won by forfeit to advance to take on Erik Arnegard of Alma (Mich.) College where he captured a 6-1 decision and earned a spot in the fifth-place match. Minear then faced Chris White from Heidelberg University where he took a 5-1 decision to claim fifth place.
Pecoraro received a bye in his first round and then fell to Wabash's Sunny Nier by technical fall, 16-0. In the consolation bracket, Pecoraro recorded a win against Austin Wieczorek from Alma by a 6-2 decision, but would lose to Kory Cavanaugh of Wabash in his next matchup by a 2-1 decision. In the seventh-place match, Pecoraro came out the victor via a medical forfeit.
Schneider finished his weight class with a 2-2 record, but woudl start the competition with a technical fall loss and would look to make his way through the consolation bracket. After a first-round bye, Schneider matched up against Adrian's Brandan Kammer where he recorded a pin in a time of 4:04. In his next match, Schneider was defeated by Dominic Paterra of Adrian that put him in the seventh-place bout. Schneider took on Manchester's Devin Childers for seventh place and pinned his opponent in a time of 2:00 to round out the Trine placers.
Trine is scheduled to travel to Crawfordsville, Ind. to take part in the two-day NCAA Division III Regional Meet on Friday-Saturday, Feb. 23-24 hosted by Wabash. The first matches each day are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.