Wheaton College wrestlers on roll in dual meets
The Wheaton College wrestling team got the season off to a good start and posted a 3-1 record in dual meets going into the winter break.
The Thunder started its season Nov. 4 at the Messiah Invitational in Grantham, Pennsylvania, where Wheaton finished in seventh place in the team competition. Carlos Fuentez turned in a strong performance for the Thunder winning the 125-pound division. This marked the second-straight year that Fuentez made it to the final round at the Messiah Invitational.
In this year's competition, Fuentez recorded a pin in the second round against Nicholas Malinowski and then claimed a 19-7 decision to advance to the semifinals. In his semifinal match, he pinned Austin Jones of Elizabethtown in just over two minutes to book his place in the finals. In the championship bout, Fuentez defeated Philip Torresani of Elizabethtown with a 20-2 technical fall victory.
After the Messiah Invitational, the Thunder matched up against Elmhurst College in its first dual of the season. The Thunder recorded wins in the 174-pound, 184-pound and 285-pound classes, but fell to Elmhurst 31-16. Following the home dual, the Thunder took part in the Trine Invitational, finishing in fourth place. Fuentez once again won the 125-pound division.
Isaac Odell, a 184-pound sophomore, garnered some attention in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin when he was named conference wrestler of the week following a strong performance at the North Central Classic on Dec. 9. Odell started the meet out with a quick victory over Dubuque’s Terrin Rackouski. He then pinned James Huntley of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. In the finals, Odell once again made short work of his opponent defeating Hunter Bates of Wabash College in less than two minutes.
On Dec. 16, the Thunder participated in three duals in Dubuque, Iowa, and claimed three wins. Wheaton won all three duals, defeating Nebraska Wesleyan University 31-13, Concordia University 41-13 and the University of Dubuque 23-13. In the bout against NWU, the Thunder only dropped three matches and several key wrestlers picked up wins including Fuentez and Odell.
In the dual against Concordia, Fuentez and Odell picked up individual wins and once again the Thunder won all but three matches. In the third dual of the day, Wheaton would drop four matches against Dubuque, but Fuentez and Odell once again claimed singles victories.
Later this month, the Thunder will host the Pete Wilson Wheaton Invitational on Jan. 26. The CCIW Championships will be held on Feb. 8 and the NCAA Division III Regional Championship will take place on Feb. 23. The national championship tournament will be held on March 9 in Cleveland, Ohio.