MSU Open first up for MU

Michigan State University’s Jenison Fieldhouse in East Lansing, Mich., is the first stop on Manchester University’s wrestling campaign Sunday, Nov. 5.

Meet details: Action at the MSU Open starts at 9:00 a.m. … Fans, friends, and alumni can follow along with live results and bracket updates and live audio and video via links at www.muspartans.com, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics. There is no fee for the bracket/result updates via TrackWrestling.com, but payment is required to listen and view via FloWrestling.com.

Spartan Synopsis: “We’ve got a strong core of upperclassmen,” Lake noted about the 2017-18 squad. “Due to that, we’ve received essential leadership so far due to nine returning lettermen which is something we haven’t had in a while. Even with the returners in the room, there might be two to three freshmen starting. It’s a good problem to have, as it’ll create competition at many spots.” … In a quick weight-by-weight season prognosis, Lake pointed to the following possibilities: 125 – Sophomore Alex Grino (Crawfordsville, Ind.), who competed in 11 matches a year ago, joins a strong freshman roster in a battle for the top spot; 133 – Junior Ben Cauffman (Fort Wayne, Ind.) is the returning starter after capturing 11 victories in his first year with the Black and Gold but, as Lake admitted, “others could add in once certified”; 141 – Senior Chase Wilson (Peru, Ind.), whom his head coach called “the heart and soul of the team”, will be the starter after a junior season in which he was ranked in several polls and produced 30-plus wins; 149  and 157 – “It’s open (at both weights) right now,” Lake said. “Honestly, the contenders at both those classes depends on how other weights shake out”; 165 – Senior Alex Arney (Fort Wayne, Ind.), up a weight from his usual 157 status, is in competition with two freshmen for the top spot; 174 – Sophomore Isaac Ray (Atlanta, Ga.), a 2016-17 season letterman, is back after compiling 17 wins a year ago; 184 – Senior Tristan Wilson (Fort Wayne, Ind.) is also moving up to 184 and will be competing with a pair of newcomers for starting time; 197 – Senior Alex Roberts(Campbelltown, Ind.) is “the most likely choice”, according to Lake, after starting at 184 off and on for the last three seasons; Heavyweight – “We’ve always had great ones (at Manchester),” Lake pointed out. “We have five fighting for the spot right now. It’ll be interesting to see how it winds up.” “Everything is new (going into this weekend),” he added. “We’re building off the good of last season which has seen us transition well into the new year so far.”

Looking Ahead: The Black and Gold begin their dual season Friday, Nov. 10, with a trip to in-state rival Wabash College. The following day, they send select individuals to compete at Trine University’s Thunder Invitational.

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