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Drum Captures Messiah Open Crown; Six Spartans Earn Top Six Finishes

Jackson Drum photo courtesy of David Sinclair Photography
Jackson Drum photo courtesy of David Sinclair Photography

GRANTHAM, PA – The Spartans took a small contingent of wrestlers to the Messiah Open Tournament in Grantham, PA on Saturday. The Green and White, coming off a big come from behind win over Messiah on Friday night, saw a few starters wrestle but most of the lineup comprised reserves getting valuable tournament experience.

Junior Jackson Drum was the highlight of the day as he steamrolled his way through the 165-pound weight class to earn the title. The Spartans had five other wrestlers earn top six finishes for the day.

Drum opened his day with a pinfall victory over Rafiq Conway from AIC. Drum recorded the pin in a mere 1:28 to get off to a good start in the tournament. He followed with a second pin, this time putting Tanner Vogel on his back in 4:27 to advance to the championship quarterfinal. Drum moved onto the semifinals with a 7-4 win over Penn State's Konner Kraeszig. Drum earned his way to the championship match with a 12-4 major decision over American University's Benjamin Root. Drum captured the tournament title with a 3-1 win over American's Tim Fitzpatrick in the championship bout.

Junior Muhamed Alic had a strong showing at 184 pounds as he finished as the runner up in the weight class. He began his day with a 16-0 tech fall over Conner Heft. He then posted a second tech fall, this time a 19-3 win over Joshua Stoner from UPS to move into the semifinals. Alic kept rolling with a 4-3 win over Liberty's Josh McIlhenny to move to the championship bout. Alic's run came to an end as he fell to TCNJ's Tom Anderson in the title match. 

Sophomore Verlensky Joachim had a good day at 133 pounds as he finished fourth for the Spartans. Joachim started his day with a pin fall victory over Muhlenberg's Alex Helpin. The first period pin came at the 2:30 mark of the match. Joachim then suffered a loss to top seed Jake Giordano from TCNJ to bounce him to the consolation bracket. Joachim responded in stellar fashion with another win by fall as he put Stony Brook's Stephen Masotti on his back in a time of 1:38. Joachim advanced to the consolation semifinals with an injury default. He then earned a 16-5 major decision win over Penn's Jon Guevara to move to the consolation finals. Joachim had his day come to a close with a loss to Penn State's Patrick Higgins in the consolation finals as he finished fourth for the tournament at 133 pounds.

Sophomore Michael Reinhart put together a strong tournament at 197 pounds as he also finished fourth for the Green and White. Reinhart began his day with a pinfall victory over Raul Martinez from AIC as Reinhart recorded the pin in a time of 4:03. He followed that with a 5-1 win over East Stroudsburg's Nick Klinoff to move to the semifinals. There, Reinhart ran into Eldar Muradov who earned a 19-2 win en route to winning the weight class one bout later. Reinhart bounced back with a 7-4 win before falling to Penn's Tyler Hall in the consolation championship. 

Freshman Camden Farrow and junior Brandon Ballard each finished sixth for the Spartans in their weight classes. Farrow finished 3-2 at 197 pounds while Ballard went 4-2 at 285 pounds for the Green and White.

The Spartans conclude their 2018-19 regular season on Thursday, February 14 when they travel to Gettysburg to face the Bullets in a non-conference contest at Bream Gymnasium. The match is slated for a 7:00 pm contest.