East Lansing, Michigan – The University of Findlay wrestling team, currently ranked no. 12 in the country in Division II, traveled to East Lansing to take part in the Michigan State Open on Sunday, Nov. 5. The event played host to representatives from 28 different schools in the country with teams from NCAA Division I, II, and III institutions as well as one National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) member. Participants competed in a pair of brackets; the open division and the freshman/sophomore division.
The Roughnecks' top performer was sophomore Nate Vandermeer who competed at 174 pounds in the freshman/sophomore tournament. Vandermeer started with a 19-3 tech fall victory over Ashland's Tre Terry and then won his quarterfinal match against Notre Dame (OH) Charles Small with a 5-2 decision. Vandermeer's first and only loss of the day would come against Central Michigan's Collin Lieber in the semifinal. Findlay's sophomore would close the day with a pin of Purdue's Tanner Webtser and an 18-2 tech fall victory over Austin Clayton of Arizona State to claim third place in the tournament.
In the 157-pound bracket of the freshman/sophomore division, Findlay sophomore James Wimer, who would finish the day 2-2, began with a first-round victory over Big Ten opponent Dillon Hoey from Indiana University. Wimer earned the victory by a 6-3 decision before dropping his quarterfinal match to Johnny Mologousis of Illinois. In his first consolation bout, Wimer earned a victory by fall over Tiffin's Trent Johannsen, but was eliminated from the tournament in his next matchup that ended in a 6-4 loss to Mason Kauffman of Eastern Michigan.
Junior Devin Rogers took part in the open division at 149 pounds. He dropped his first contest to Davion Jeffries of Oklahoma, the no. 13 wrestler in the country in Division I in his weight class. Rogers came back and won by major decision, 14-5, against Pay Spray of the University of Wisconsin before bowing out of the tournament in a tightly contested match against Oklahoma's Dominick Demas that ended in a tie breaker.
A pair of Findlay heavyweights participated in the open division 285-pound bracket. Gerald Beck finished the event 1-2, dropping his first match to Shawn Stretck of Purdue University before earning a pin over Jacob Perry of Tiffin. Beck's day would end in the second round of the consolation bracket with a pin at the hands of Jacob Aven of Purdue University.
The second Roughneck in the heavyweight division was Mimmo Lytle, who would finish the event in sixth place with a 3-2 record. Lytle, ranked ninth in the nation in his weight class, won his first bout, a 5-0 decision against Caleb Fry of Tiffin University, before falling to Division I's no. 14 heaviweight, Conan Jennings of Northwestern. Lytle then rattled off a pair of wins. The first was a pin of Wisconsin's Ian Dretzka and the second was a 5-2 decision against Jacob Aven of Purdue. Lytle's consolation semifinal loss would come against Shawn Streck of Purdue by a decision of 8-1.
The Roughnecks will again hit the mats this coming Saturday, Nov. 11 when they travel to the Eastern Michigan Open in Ypsilanti, Michigan.