TIFFIN, Ohio –After closing the first rounds of competition on Friday, Anderson University wrestling is slotted in 15th place as three wrestlers will continue their tournament run on Saturday at the Midwest Super Regionals at Tiffin’s Heminger Center with a chance to advance to the NCAA Championships in two weeks.
Sophomore Zak Hale continued his impressive 2013-14 campaign, finishing a perfect 2-0 on the day, needing one more victory to clinch his trip to the NCAA Championships. Redshirt senior Cory Monteforte (125) and graduate student Zane Newton (157) both posted 2-1 records for the day, searching for at least a fourth-place finish to qualify for the national tournament.
Hale began his day with a first period pin over Belmont Abbey’s Gabe Pastrik for his sixth win by fall this season. In the 133 bracket, the first round saw just two pins as both came by the top two seeds in Hale (No. 2) and Michael Labry (No. 1) of Ashland.
In the second round, Hale fought off DeMarcus Spencer of King with a 6-2 decision to advance to Saturday’s semifinal. In the next round, Hale will square off against Indianapolis’ Josh Keiffer who defeated Hale in sudden-victory at the Super Region II Duals earlier this season. Hale will look to avenge the loss and advance to the final at 133.
At 125, Monteforte began his day with a narrow 7-5 decision over Ronzel Darling of Wisconsin-Parkside. Darling entered Friday with an impressive 25-12 record before Monteforte added his 10th victory of the season and fifth out his last six bouts.
Following the win, the redshirt senior was sent to the wrestleback side of the bracket after falling to Maryville’s Brandon Oshiro by a 10-9 decision. From there, Monteforte earned his second decision of the day, eliminating Lake Erie’s Keanu Thompson, 8-4.
With the win, Monteforte will face a familiar opponent in BAC’s Patrick Mestrez, which the Cliffside Park, N.J. native dropped to during the regular season by a 3-2 score. Monteforte will need three more wins in the consolation bracket to advance to the NCAA Championships.
Newton matched Monteforte’s day, beginning with a 7-6 decision over UIndy’s Sheldon Strubble. In the next round, Newton fell to Lake Eric’s Zak Vargo, sending him the consolation side of the bracket. Once there, Newton claimed a hard-fought 2-0 decision over Ohio Valley’s Tyler Green.
With the 2-1 record, Newton is schedule to meet Ashland’s Kyle Burns in the next round, as the Greenwood, S.C. native will need three wins on Saturday to qualify for the national tournament. Adding the two victories during the tournament, Newton continues to rank second on the squad with 16 wins for the year.
Four other Trojans, who made the trip to the Buckeye State, came up short, suffering two straight setbacks, ending their respective tournament runs.
“This has been a grueling first day of regional competition,” Anderson head coach Dock Kelly said. “I am proud that we still have three wrestlers alive in brackets with an opportunity to earn an automatic bid to the national tournament. The margin for error is narrow now, and we must come focused and ready to wrestle. We have worked hard all season to put ourselves in this position, and I'm expecting them to wrestle well on Saturday.”
The Trojan trio will begin their respective journey towards the NCAA Championships on Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m.
125: Cory Monteforte (2-1)
Monteforte dec. Ronzel Darling (UWP), 7-5
Brandon Oshiro (MU) dec. Montreforte. 10-9
Monteforte dec. Keanu Thompson (LEC), 8-4
133: Zak Hale (2-0)
Hale pinned Gabe Pastrik (BAC), 2:40
Hale dec. DeMarcus Spencer (KU), 6-2
141: Keenan Simmons (0-2)
Daniel Owenby (UNCP) pinned Simmons, 3:29
Bobby Mason (ASH) tech. fall Simmons, 15-0 (2:45)
157: Zane Newton (2-1)
Newton dec. Sheldon Strubble (UIndy), 7-6
Zak Vargo (LEC) pinned Newton, 2:48
Newton dec. Tyler Green (OVC), 2-0
165: Eric DeAngelis (0-2)
Blake Ridenour (NEW) pinned DeAngelis, 0:50
Phillip Burrows (COKER) dec. DeAngelis, 10-6
184:Taylor Dorsett (0-2)
Bryson Hall (ASH) pinned Dorsett, 4:50
David Kieta (LIME) maj. dec. Dorsett, 11-1
197: Robert Johnson (0-2)
Julian Smith (McK) pinned Johnson, 2:56
Stuart Nadeau (UNCP) pinned Johnson, 2:30