NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Two falls and a 4-0 record helped Manchester University senior 141-pounder Chase Wilson (Peru, Ind.) claim one of 10 individual Indiana Little State Invitational titles Saturday, Dec. 2.
Coach Kevin Lake's squad honored its hosting duties of the annual event by bringing a large crowd inside Stauffer-Wolfe Arena to its feet throughout the afternoon. Wilson, junior 133-pounder Ben Cauffman (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and sophomore 149-pounder Jordan Napier (Indianapolis, Ind.) reached the finals. Sophomore 141-pounder JaVon Phillips (Centerville, Ind.) battled for third place, and senior 197-pounder Alex Roberts (Campbelltown, Ind.) and sophomore heavyweight Tristin Choate (Mount Vernon, Ind.) also found themselves in the placing matches at days' end, each taking aim at seventh place.
The Black and Gold's contender honoree on the recent D3Wrestle.com rankings proved his merit. Wilson broke away from a close-knit first round match against Indiana Tech's Da'Vion Williams by pouring on six points in the third period to win 9-4; put Marian University unattached entrant Ryan Surguy to his back in less than 30 seconds in the quarterfinal; survived an early takedown by Marian's Levi Moss and rallied for a 6-3 semifinal decision and then caught the University of Indianapolis' Matt McKinney early in the third period for a fall in 5:49 to find himself atop the podium. He was nearly joined by his teammate in the finale, but McKinney waylaid those plans with a semifinal round fall. Phillips, concluding a 3-1 day in which he toppled top-seeded Anthony Robles of the University of Indianapolis 10-3 in the opening round, rebounded with a hard-fought 8-6 victory over Moss to take third.
Manchester University added to its 86.5-point fifth team ending in the eight-school field, as Cauffman and Napier each wound up second. The 133-pounder used two technical falls as part of his finals' path, while the 149-pounder took a technical fall and a major decision to gain the final four where he upended Wabash College's Griffin Schermer, ranked as high as No. 6 by InterMat, 10-8 to stamp his championship round berth. Choate and Roberts each closed three-win outings with victories in the seventh-eighth matches.
Lake's team returns to action Friday, Dec. 8, wrapping up its 2017-18 pre-Christmas schedule by hosting Ohio Northern University in dual action. Start time is 7:30 p.m. at SWA.