MUSKEGON, MICH. -- The Trine University wrestling team began competition of the 2019-20 season with a pair of events hosted by Muskegon Community College in Muskegon, Mich.
On Friday (Nov. 8), the Thunder took part in the Muskegon Duals and ended the day with a 1-1 mark. Trine recorded a team victory against Triton (Ill.) College, 33-19, where five of the Thunder's six individual match wins came via pinfall. Nevan Freestone, Owen Conklin, Nick Miller, Luke Carver and Chase Gibson all defeated their respective opponents by pin. Jacob Garrett posted the other individual win with a 3-2 decision.
In Trine's other dual, the Thunder wrestled a competitive match against Grand Valley State University, but fell just short of the Lakers, 25-23. In the match, Freestone recorded his second pin of the day in impressive fashion, needing just 17 seconds to defeat his opponent. Carver also won by pin, his second of the day as well, which came in a time of 1:12. Riley Rasler posted a tech fall victory against GVSU's Joey Murphy with a final score of 16-1. The remaining team points came by way of a forfeit.
Then on Saturday (Nov. 9), members of the wrestling team competed in the annual unscored Muskegon Open. The Thunder had two wrestlers place in their respective weight classes in Mattthew Abraham who finished fourth in the 197-pound bracket and Sam Burge who was fifth at 184 pounds.
Abraham began the day with a major decision win and pin in his first two matches before suffering an 8-3 decision in his third bout to fall to the consolation bracket. In his first match in consolation, Abraham pinned Triton's Ryan Jeffray in a time of 1:47 to advance to the third-place bout where he fell just short in a contested, 5-3, decision to Triton's Sean Kelly to place fourth overall.
Burge received a bye in his first round, but then was defeated by major decision, 11-2, to Niagara County (N.Y.) Community College's Jordan Bushey to fall to the consolation bracket. Burge then won his next two matches, both by decisons, beginning with a 4-3 win against teammate Lawrence Slygh and then a 5-4 victory against Triton's Jonathan Melgoza. Needing a win to advance to the third-place match, Burge fell to Henry Ford's Dean Elder by pin to set up a matchup against Olivet's Hiram Robinson for fifth place. In the fifth-place match, Burge took the bout via a forfeit to claim fifth place.
Additionally, Brandon Minear finished with a 2-2 record at 149 pounds to round out the top efforts of the event for Trine. Minear was defeated in his first match, 12-8, but rebounded with a pin in his first bout of the consolation bracket against Jacob Mohn of Rochester (Mich.) College in a time of just 57 seconds and then beat Olivet (Mich.) College's Brian Paquette by an 8-4 decision to improve to 2-1 on the day. In his next match, Minear was pinned by Christian Neff of Henry Ford (Mich.) College to finish the afternoon at 2-2.
The Thunder will host the Trine Invitational on Saturday, Nov. 16 at the Keith E. Busse/Steel Dynamics Athletic and Recreation Center ("ARC").