The Eastern Michigan University wrestling team dominated its competition Saturday, defeating three schools at the Eastern Duals.
Bowen Field House hosted the collaboration of the wrestling and gymnastics team’s events called “Beauty and the Beast.”
The event built for two didn’t catch the wrestlers by surprise. They came out focused and ready to wrestle.
“The event didn’t affect us at all,” coach Derek Delporto said.
“It’s good to combine sports. It’s fan-friendly, and it’s a good way to showcase the men and women here at EMU at the same time.”
The Eagles improved their overall record to 11-6 and 4-0 at home. This is the Eagles’ second quad meet of the season where they have swept the competition, the first time being the Wendy’s Duals in which the Eagles outscored their opponents, 125-9.
The Eagles started competition against Oakland University defeating them, 48-0, while Southern Illinois University defeated Tiffin (Ohio), 21-12.
Wrestling occurred on green and white mats kitty corner to each other, while the gymnasts competed on blue mats, filling all the gaps found throughout the field house.
Redshirt freshman Jared Germaine (125) recorded the first pin of the day in just 1:18, while junior Filberto Colon (133) and redshirt freshman Seth Schaner (141) followed with a major decision and technical fall.
Everyone who followed got their share of a victory slice, including redshirt junior Lester France (157), who won his first match in a technical fall, and redshirt freshman Khodor Hoballah (184), winning his match by fall.
During intermission, the “beasts” proceeded to the back, through the side doors waiting to escort their “beauties” for the start of their meet and to continue playing for the wrestling team. Each wrestler walked out of the double doors with two gymnasts at each arm. Heavyweight David Wade had his hands full escorting the final three gymnasts to their mats to start competition.
In EMU’s second match, the Eagles picked up where they left off, winning the first five matches against SIU before losing at weight classes 165 and 174 to a fall and a decision. EMU went on to win the second session 40-9, while Tiffin beat Oakland 29-15.
“Everyone wrestled out there,” Delporto said. “We were deep enough today; we had 17 guys, maybe 18 wrestling, and we pinned when we needed to pin.”
Colon started the defeats with a quick 25-second fall, followed by redshirt freshman Mike Leholm (149) pinning, causing a fall in 1:14. Junior Corey Phillips (149) and redshirt sophomore Aaron Sulzer (157) added to the defeats with major decisions of their own.
Senior Wade (heavyweight) also added a victory with a 4-2 sudden-victory overtime win over David Devine of SIU.
More dominance was at display in the third session where EMU dropped just one match in route to victory over Tiffin, 39-6, while SIU defeated Oakland, 41-6.
EMU showed a lot of depth Saturday, getting victories out of redshirt junior Matt Pettigrew (heavyweight) and redshirt freshman J.T. Rice (174).
Pettigrew came out of the heavyweight position on top in a minute fall against Brian Gelter of Tifflin. Rice followed redshirted junior Justin Joseph in a victory in a decision. Joseph (165) also won his match by decision.
The Eagles start MAC play this week at 7 p.m. Friday against Northern Illinois in DeKalb, Ill.