Tornado Place Fifth, Four to Represent King at Nationals

 

EDMOND, Okla. – King Men's Wrestling will send four of its team members to the NCAA Division II National Tournament after placing in the top-4 of their respective weight classes after the final day at the Super Region II Tournament, Sunday. Tywan Claxton highlighted the day for King, taking first place in the 141-pound division while senior Frank Morgan placed second.

Claxton, a Cleveland, Ohio native, ran the table at 141 pounds to earn a regional championship and a trip to the NCAA Division II National Tournament next month. Claxton won his final two bouts of the tournament by decision, defeating Casy Rowell (Central Oklahoma) and Kenneth Hamprich (Limestone) by 3-0 and 3-1 scores, respectively. He finished 4-0 on the weekend, successfully defending his No. 1 regional ranking and his No. 6 national ranking.

Frank Morgan (Maynardville, Tenn.) earned his trip to the 197-pound championship bout, pitting himself in a highly anticipated matchup against No. 1 Dan Scanlan (Limestone). Preceding the championship match, Morgan willed himself to a 7-5 win by decision over Jarrett Edison (Central Oklahoma). The King senior battled ferociously, but eventually lost to Scanlan in a 6-2 decision. Morgan's second place finish qualifies him to compete in the National Tournament.

Brandon Tressler (Orlando, Fla.) and Dondricus Anderson (Macon, Ga.) also qualified for the National Tournament, each finishing fourth in their respective weight classes.

Tressler, ranked sixth in the latest regional poll, wrestled out of the loser's bracket on the second day and won each of his first two matches to put him in contention for a third place finish. He defeated Kevin Christman (Tiffin) and No. 5 Josh Linden (Lake Erie) by a combined score of 15-2, advancing to a third place matchup with No. 3 Adam Walters (Findlay), where he lost by fall. He was challenged to a "true fourth" matchup, which he successfully defended against Limestone's Landon Hall in a 5-3 decision win.

After going 2-0 in day one action, Anderson faced an uphill battle after a second-day, first-round fall to No. 1 Jacob Southwick (Ashland) in the 285 semifinal bout. The senior heavyweight rebounded and pinned Will Robinson (Belmont Abbey) to put him in the third place bout. Anderson and Cody Dauphin (Central Oklahoma) battled into an overtime session, knotted at 4-4 after three periods of wrestling. Dauphin scored the first points of the overtime session, putting two points up and taking the bout by decision, 6-4. Despite the loss, Anderson will still represent King at the National Tournament in March.

Junior Patrick Spano earned a fourth place finish after battling from behind with a 7-2 decision win over No. 6 Daniel McGillivray (Limestone). Thomas Graszi (Ashland) narrowly defeated Spano, 3-2, in the third place bout. Chris Watson (Central Oklahoma), who won a fifth place berth, challenged Spano to a "true fourth" match and defeated the Tampa, Fla., native in a high-scoring match, 16-11. The loss to Watson will prevent Spano from advancing to the National Tournament.

Jerrelle McCabe (Virginia Beach, Va.) was defeated by Garrett Evans in the 125 semifinal bout, 4-1. The freshman placed sixth in his division after losing his next two matches by decision to ranked individuals. Cullen King (Memphis, Tenn.) and No. 5 Jeremy Miller (Madison, Tenn.) round out the list of King placers, each finishing sixth in their respective weight classes.

King placed fifth overall as a team in the 11-team field, housing one regional champion, one second place finisher and six wrestlers in positions four through six. They finished just 1.5 point behind rival Limestone. Host school Central Oklahoma took gold in the tournament as a team, placing seven wrestlers in the top-3. Findland, Ashland, and Limestone finished two through four, in that order.