The Lycoming College wrestling team is still alive and kicking as the first day of the 2014 Budd Whitehill National Duals ended at Lycoming College's Lamade Gym early Friday evening.
During the day, the Warriors went 2-1 in three results to keep their hopes alive for a possible medal.
After falling 18-12 to Heidelberg to open their tournament, the Warriors bounced back to notch a 38-3 win over Case Western Reserve before advancing to the next round with a forfeit win over Trine.
Greg Wetzel of Lycoming, top, works Conor Driscoll of Case Western Reserve Friday at Lamade Gym.
"I think we wrestled very well," said Lycoming head coach Roger Crebs about the loss to Heidelberg. "I was very happy with the fact that all of our wrestlers kept us in the match the whole way. They battled to the point where a win here or a win there and we could have won the meet."
The dual with the Heidelberg Student Princes was about as close as it could have been, with all 10 bouts ending up in a regular decision. Of those decisions, the margin of victory in four of them was by one or two points, none more than four points.
"We didn't give up any bonus points and kept everything close," Crebs said. "We told them we had to keep things close and they did just that. We were in position at 12-12 going into the last two with a chance to win. We needed one of those, but it didn't happen."
Not using anything as an excuse, the Warriors were operating without two regulars in the lineup in Cody Barbiche (125) and Sam Batchelor (285).
"Some injuries have hurt us, but the kids we put in there kept battling and fighting and that is all I can ask of them," Crebs said. "Again, the kids wrestled very well, I was proud of them for their efforts and I am pretty happy with where we are."
Heidelberg won the first two bouts to take a 6-0 lead, but the Warriors battled to tie the score at 6-all. Caleb Willey broke open a close match with Ian Gillespie for a 9-4 win at 141 before former Line Mountain standout Seth Lansberry got the Warriors even at 149 when he doubled up on Damon Cheek for an 8-4 win.
After the 2-2 split in the first four bouts, Heidelberg again went on top with decisions at 157 and 165. But as they did before, the Warriors answered with a pair of decisions of their own for the 12-all tie.
Jonathan Secor picked up three team points for Lycoming when he outlasted Brennan Kelly, 6-5 at 174, and Greg Wetzel followed Secor's win with a 2-0 shutout vs. Richard Dowdley.
With the team score all deadlocked at a dozen apiece, the Princes did what they had to do in the final two bouts when Jason Russell won a 5-2 decision over Skylar Ebner of Muncy before Nino Majoy doubled up on Matthew Bloom 6-3.
Unlike their dual meet with Heidelberg, the Warriors came out smoking against Case Western as they won the first half dozen bouts for a 21-0 lead.
Jake Witmer doubled up on Matt Moy 4-2 at 125 and Zachary Britton won 5-3 over Jeff Gould.
Willey was all over Connor Medlang for a 9-0 major decision at 141 and Lansberry made it four in a row for Lyco when he edged Luke Marcelli 3-2 at 149.
Former Clearfield standout Nolan Barger completely dominated Noah Feldstein for a 16-0 technical fall in 2:04 before Matthew Neff completed the six-bout surge with a 6-2 win at 165.
"Once we got it going, it rolled," said Crebs. "Caleb (Willey) went out and got a major and Barger went out and teched the kid in the first period. He never let him off his belly. He just went from one move to the next. From there on, it just went pretty much our way. Those things are nice when you get on a roll and when that happens, it makes coaching real easy."
David Brunk temporarily stopped the bleeding for Case Western with a 13-8 win over Jonathan Secor at 174, but that would be the only win for the Spartans as Greg Wetzel, Skylar Ebner and Nikolas Christine put together three wins to set the final at Lycoming 38, Case Western Reserve 3.
"Secor kind of got caught sleeping on the edge (of the mat) while sitting on a lead," Crebs said. "I thought the young guys wrestled tough. Witmer pulled out a nice win and we just have to keep it moving through tomorrow (Sunday)."
Greg Wetzel hammered Conor Driscoll for a 16-0 technical fall, Ebner reversed Eric Sullivan to his back for the fall at 197 and Christine was awarded a forfeit to close out the meet.
"That was probably the best match he (Wetzel) wrestled in four years," said Crebs. "He just told me, coach, I wasn't stressed, I didn't feel like I had to prove anything and I just wrestled."
The Warriors will hit the mat bright and early this morning when they face Johnson and Wales University in one of the 9 a.m. matches.
In the championship semifinals that are slated to begin this morning at 10:30 will be Olivet facing Messiah, while Ithaca will square off against SUNY-Cortland.
One thing is certain, and that is there will not be a repeat champion in this year's tournament as the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point fell in its first match of the tournament to Williams College.
Heidelberg 18, Lycoming 12
125: Joe Prodman, H, dec. Jake Witmer, 4-3. (0-3); 133: Justin Kihn, H. dec. Zachary Finn, 5-1. (0-6); 141: Caleb Willey, L, dec. Ian Gillespie, 9-6. (3-6); 149: Seth Lansberry, L, dec. Damon Cheek, 8-4. (6-6); 157: Aaron Bauko, H, dec. Brian Watkins, 6-3. (6-9); 165: Jeremy Stepp, H. dec. Matthew Neff, 5-3. (6-12); 174: Jonathan Secor, L, dec. Brennan Kelly 6-5. (9-12); 184: Greg Wetzel, L, dec. Richard Dowdley, 2-0 (12-12); 197: Jason Russell, H, dec. Skylar Ebner, 5-2. (12-15); 285: Nino Majoy, H, dec. Matthew Bloom, 6-3. (12-18)
Lycoming 38, Case Western Reserve 3
125: Jake Witmer, L, dec. Matt Moy, 4-2. (3-0); 133: Zachary Britton, L, dec. Jeff Gould, 5-3. (6-0); 141: Caleb Willey, L, maj. Dec. Connor Medlang, 9-0. (10-0); 149: Seth Lansberry, L, dec. Luke Marcelli, 3-2. (13-0); 157: Nolan Barger, L, tech. fall Noah Feldstein, 16-0, 2:04. (18-0); 165: Matthew Neff, L, dec. Nick Lees, 6-2. (21-0); 174: David Brunk, CWR, dec. Jonathan Secor, 13-8. (21-3); 184: Greg Wetzel, L, tech. fall Conor Driscoll, 16-0. (26-3); 197: Skylar Ebner, L, pinned Eric Sullivan, 4:523. (32-3); 285: Nikolas Christine, L, won by forfeit. (38-3)