The Eastern Michigan University men’s wrestling team kicked off their season with the 21st EMU Open at Bowen Field House Nov. 3.
The tournament played host to over 450 wrestlers and well over 25 schools across the country, including nationally ranked wrestlers. The NCAA Divisions l, 2 and 3 were also represented.
The Eagles had 13 wrestlers finish in the top seven of their weight classes, with only one claiming first place. Freshman Jacob Davis earned the top spot in the freshman and sophomore division of his 174-pound weight class. Davis defeated Jordan Wohlfert of Michigan State University to receive his first collegiate tournament victory.
Freshman Matthew VanCuren took second place at 149 pounds, while redshirt senior Aaron Sulzer and redshirt junior Khodor Hoballah both took third place in the open division at 157 pounds and 197 pounds, respectively.
“I expect to get first,” Sulzer said while waiting for more of his matches to begin. Although he did not seize first, he won his third-place match by default. First place of that weight and division class went to Bobby Barnhisel of Navy.
Fourth places were claimed by EMU wrestlers redshirt juniors Phillip Joseph (184 pounds) and Jared Germaine (125 pounds), redshirt freshman Vincent Pizzuto (133 pounds) and Seth Schaner (141 pounds).
Joseph and Germaine both had a successful day until each of their final two matches. Germaine is currently ranked twenty-third nationally in his weight class and fell to Camden Eppert of Purdue, who is ranked seventeenth, in the third place match.
The fifth place winners for EMU included freshmen Nicholas Barber (141 pounds) and Devan Marry (165 pounds) in the freshman and sophomore division and Jacob Dorulla at 165 pounds in the open division. The remaining placing Eagles include redshirt freshman Chris Rau and redshirt sophomore Jake Byers (open division) at 141 pounds and 133 pounds, respectively.
A couple of EMU wrestlers fell short because of injuries. Redshirt freshman Cole Dillman injured his leg while competing against Lake Erie College wrestler Robert Zappitelli, which forced Zappitelli to win by injury default.
Freshman Mitchell Malott also received an injury. According to another EMU wrestler, Malott was in the process of pinning an opponent when he was rolled over and injured his neck.
The team had its ups and downs during the tournament but their season has only just begun. The Eagles will head to the Michigan State University Open Nov. 11 in Lansing to continue their tournament competition.
They return home for a short period of time to kick off their dual-meet season by hosting MSU Nov. 16 in Bowen Field House at 7 p.m. EMU then heads to Clarion, Pa. to wrestle the Clarion University Golden Eagles.