The wrestling team ventured from Springfield College this past weekend to Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pa. to compete in the two-day Messiah-Petrofes Invitational, where they placed fourth out of nine teams with a score of 122.5.
Messiah College, ranked No. 4 in the nation, finished in first place with 183 points. No. 6 Wilkes University (165.5), and No. 26 University of Mount Union (143.5), also finished in front of the Pride.
The Pride, ranked No. 15 in the country, had many standouts in the tourney with another first-place finish from No. 1 ranked Devin Biscaha in the 157-pound weight class.
“I like to work hard while having fun,” Biscaha said humbly, undermining his successes. “I’m a pretty laidback person. I just like to enjoy myself, and when you’re having fun, you’re relaxed and always doing better.”
Biscaha, a Jackson, N.J. native, was the only one to claim an individual title, but plenty of other grapplers stood out. Senior Tommy Casper (125 lbs.), junior Dylan Foley (174 lbs.), and freshman Hunter Ayen (197 lbs.) each took third place in their weight classes.
Freshmen Jacob Strohman (141 lbs.) and Zach Joseph (149 lbs.) stood out as well, finishing fourth and sixth, respectively.
“It means a lot that I can help the team,” Strohman said. “It’s encouraging to me to know that I have four years left, but I’m already able to make an impact. I definitely appreciate the opportunity that [Coach Jay] Holder is giving me, and I don’t want to let him or my teammates down.”
As finals approach, the wrestling team gets a slight break as their next match is slated for January 4 at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., about 75 miles northwest of Springfield. The team will retreat back to the empty campus on January 1 to prepare for the match.
“It’ll be fine I think,” freshman Luke Balina said about returning to the empty campus. “The break is to spend with family and friends, but the wrestling team is a family. Everyone will be excited to come back and get to work so we can beat Williams.”
It will be the team’s first dual match, as they’ve only competed in tournaments thus far, finishing third (of eight), first (of 17), and fourth (of nine) in their first three tournaments, respectively.