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March 3, 2024 9:52 pm

UMO men’s wrestling competes at Midwest Classic

INDIANAPOLIS – Competing in one of toughest individual competitions in Division II, redshirt freshman Dallas Wilson finished eighth at the Midwest Classic Dec. 17-18.

This is the first time in program history Mount Olive has had a wrestler on the podium in the prestigious tournament. As a team, the Trojans ended up 26th in a field of 43.

Wilson entered the second day with a 3-1 record after securing a pair of wins in the consolation bracket to battle for a podium position. His opening bout on Sunday resulted in a forfeit, which allowed him to advance to the top eight in the weight class. Wilson suffered a loss by a 14-1 major decision to Jason Hanenberg, who entered the competition ranked No. 4 at 149.

Despite the loss, he advanced to the seventh place match to face No. 6 ranked Jalen Spuhler of UW-Parkside. Wilson held an 8-7 advantage following the first period after totaling three takedowns and a nearfall. He remained ahead 10-9 in the second period after two escapes before Spuhler edged out a 12-11 decision with a 3-1 third period, which included one point due to ride time.

After entering the tournament undefeated at 10-0, Wilson finished the event with a 14-3 mark following seven matches after entering the bracket at No. 12.

Mount Olive men’s wrestling featured an entry in all 10 weight classes while recording nine victories. The largest tournament in all of NCAA Division II represents every region and eight conferences with over 400 wrestlers competing.

In the 149 weight class, Wilson dominated Trevor Christian of Drury in his opening match with an 11-3 major decision, which included four takedowns. In the next match, he suffered a 9-2 loss by decision to fall into the consolation bracket. Wilson claimed his second win against Alex Castaneda of Colorado Mesa via fall in the first period after holding a 12-0 advantage. He finished the day with another victory by fall over Tyler Pepe of Belmont Abbey to advance.

Redshirt senior Nico Ramirez finished the tournament with a 2-2 record after winning his opening match by a 4-2 decision over Deandre Rucker of Colorado School of Mines. In the next match, he fell to No. 2 ranked Jared Campbell of Glenville State via fall in the second period. Ramirez advanced in the consolation bracket with an 11-4 decision versus Keigan Yuhas of Findlay before being eliminated by Cale Gray of UIndy by an 11-3 major decision.

At 157, redshirt junior Michael Vernagallo also registered a 2-2 mark. He suffered a loss by a 9-6 decision in his initial match before advancing in the consolation bracket with a win by fall against Nolan Wheeler of Newberry. Vernagallo claimed his second win over Nick Carbone of Ashland after the match ended via injury in the third period. He was eliminated in his final match versus Anthony Velazquez of Mary via fall.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics