Men’s Wrestling Excels in King Open
Though the tournament served as a prime opportunity for the Tornado youth to get quality experience, the day belonged to Patrick Spano (Tampa, Fla.). The redshirt-junior ran the field in the 165-pound weight class, going a perfect 4-0 on his way to win the division championship. In his five bouts, Spano defeated three wrestlers from No. 2 Newberry College, beating two by fall. In the championship bout, Spano beat Blake Ridenour (Newberry) by decision, 6-4. He won his previous three bouts, all by fall and all in the first period.
Junior D'Marcus Spencer (Indianapolis, Ind.) wrestled unattached in the tournament but represented himself and King well finishing in second place in the 133-pound division. After defeating Bazell Partridge (Newberry), Clemente Narviaz (Belmont Abbey) and Ryan Miller (Liberty) consecutively, Spencer faced off against No. 5 Matt Oliver of Newberry in the championship round, losing by a 7-2 decision.
Freshman Tywan Claxton (Virginia Beach, Va.) recorded a significant victory in his young career against No. 2 B.J. Young (Newberry), who was a national finalist last year at 133 pounds, in the championship bout of the 141-pound division. Claxton ran the table in three previous matches, winning all by decision, before taking the title.
King freshman Jeremy Miller (Madison, Tenn.) medaled at 157 pounds, taking third place in the tournament. Miller opened his day with three wins, a shutout victory over Eric Reger (Liberty), a pin of Jeremy McPhearson of nationally-ranked Limestone and a decision win over Joe Whalen (NA). Former Division II two-time All-American Charles Pingleton of Lindsey Wilson College delivered Miller his first loss by decision in the semifinal round before he rebounded with a pair of wins to place third in the division.
Freshman Blake Suttle (174#), No. 7 Brandon Tressler (184#) and senior Dondricus Anderson (HWT) all took fourth place in their respective weight classes. Redshirt-freshman William Bell placed in the fifth at 174 pounds before being pinned by teammate Blake Suttle on his way to claiming fourth place. Dakota Moore (Pemberton, N.J.) also placed in the 184-pound division, defeating Brian Newman (NA) in the fifth place bout by decision, 4-0.
"There are still several areas that we need a lot of improvement on," said Head Coach Nate Moorman. "But that is what's so great about these open tournaments. The young guys seem to be getting more comfortable and are creating a strong presence on the mat. We just have to keep grinding through tough practices until everything we focus on clicks into place."
King next hits the mats in the Buckeye State when the team travels to Ashland, Ohio for the Harris Open on Nov. 19. The team will participate in two more open tournaments before its first duel meet against East Tennessee State University on Dec. 6 in Johnson City, Tennessee.
Photo gallery coming soon!