LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's wrestling team wraps up the 2014 portion of the schedule when the Diplomats take part in the Cradle Gear Invitational and travel to compete at the Midlands near the end of December.
To watch this week's interview with head coach Mike and Rogers, click here.
Monday, Dec. 29 – at Cradle Gear Invitational (Hosted by Lock Haven) - All Day
Monday, Dec. 29 – Tuesday, Dec. 30 – at Midlands (Hosted by Northwestern) – All Day
A Look at the Cradle Gear Invitational
The Diplomats will take part in the Cradle Gear for the second consecutive season after placing eighth out of 10 competing teams a year ago. Alex Henry paced F&M with a third-place finish in the 285-pound bracket. Michigan State took the team title with 105 points as F&M finished the day with 18.
Jason Bing earned a victory in the championship bracket of 125 with a pin of Michigan State's Brenan Lyon in the opening round. He followed with an 8-3 decision in the consolations before wrapping up the tournament with a narrow 5-3 loss to eventual third place finisher, Mike Soria of Buffalo.
A Look at the Midlands
Richard Durso rattled off three straight wins in the consolation bracket at last year's 51st Ken Kraft Midlands Championships, hosted by Northwestern University, capturing a fourth-place finish at the prestigious tournament.
The junior 141-pounder advanced all the way to the third-place match but would have to settle for fourth after falling to Josh Dziewa of Iowa, who ranked No. 13 in the nation, by a 3-1 score. Andrew Murano also competed for F&M, dropping his opening bout by a 10-2 score against Brandon Zeerip of Eastern Michigan before responding with three-straight decisions in the consolations. His tournament run came to an end in the next round after being pinned by No. 15 Zac Brunson of Illinois.
Last Time Out
F&M fell just short by a 24-19 score in a back-and-forth match against VMI on Friday evening at the Mayser Center, falling to 1-3 in dual meet competition on the year, while the Keydets improved to 2-3.
Both squads traded pins to open the dual with VMI striking first with a fall at 125. Patrick Quinlan quickly evened the competition at 133, taking down his opponent at the 1:37 mark to make the score 6-6. After the Keydets pulled ahead at 9-6 with a decision at 141, Sharron Townsend stepped to the mat and scored seven takedowns en route to a 16-6 major decision at 149 to give the Diplomats their first lead at 10-9.
Rob King kept the momentum firmly in F&M's control at 157, registering the Diplomats' second pin of the evening at 2:14 to extend the F&M advantage to 16-9. The Keydets began to battle back. A first-period takedown was enough for a 3-0 decision by VMI at 165, followed by another 10-3 decision at 174 to make it a one-point contest at 16-15.
After falling by decision at 184, Charles Kerkesner breathed life into the Diplomats at 197 with a pair of takedowns in the opening period and managed to hang on for a 6-3 decision to bring F&M within one heading into the final contest. However, VMI's Juan Adams proved to be too much for Alex Henry at 285, earning a late second-period pin to seal the match for the Keydets.