Spartans capture top 15 finish

WHEATON, ILL. – Senior 141-pounder Chase Wilson (Peru, Ind.) earned more success at one of NCAA Division III’s bigger stages Friday and Saturday, Jan. 26 and 27.

A top contender on D3Wrestle.com’s current listings, Wilson battled some of the toughest competition from around the Midwest and beyond, along with his Manchester University teammates, at Wheaton College’s Pete Willson Invitational. Despite being dashed on his way to a potential individual title, Wilson dug down and came back through the wrestlebacks for his second straight consolation title and third successive top eight finish at the event.

Moving into 20-win territory for a second straight year, Wilson registered a pin and back-to-back decisions to reach the championship quarterfinals. John Carroll University’s Jarrod Brezovec waylaid his road to the finals, winning 11-5, but the Black and Gold standout responded with a major decision and decision for third place in a loaded 25-man bracket.

Coach Kevin Lake’s squad also saw strong results from sophomore 149-pounder Jordan Napier (Indianapolis, Ind.). Napier knocked off seventh-seeded Josh Lawson of Elmhurst in the round of 32 and then roared into the quarterfinals with a major decision. Messiah’s Stephen Maloney stopped his trek to the finals with a technical fall, but he wound up sixth at the end of the tournament. Junior 133-pounder Ben Cauffman (Fort Wayne, Ind.) also advanced to the championship quarterfinals with two victories, including a major decision, before a pair of defeats knocked him out of potential placing.

Manchester University’s 39-point team total left them 15th in the 35-team field. The Spartans resume dual competition Friday, Feb. 2, welcoming National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ top-tier program Indiana Tech to Stauffer-Wolfe Arena. Match time is 7:30 p.m.

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