Duhawk wrestlers migrate to the mats
That time of the year is here again. Even though the weather doesn’t seem to agree, the sports start moving indoors and people can tell this group of men apart from the others: the wrestlers. The Duhawks have a strong wrestling core that can do some damage this season.
During the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Super 8 Invitational on Nov. 5, the Duhawks made waves that would set them up for the upcoming season. First-year Clint Lembeck won the 141-pound weight class going 4-0 on the day. Lembeck had three technical falls to take him to the championship round. He won his first collegiate championship by pinning Central College’s Jahleel Vester in 4:06.
The other championship of the day for the Duhawks went to first-year Guy Patron Jr. at 197-pounds. Patron started the day off with back-to-back pins, both of which were under two minutes. This took him to championship round where he had to face No. 5 Matt Seabold from Central College, who is a two-time national qualifier. Patron went all three periods and beat Seabold 8-4 to get his first collegiate title.
In addition to these title wins, other Duhawks posted impressive performances as well. Second-place finishes were awarded to sophomore Quin Gilliam at 285-pounds, first-year Eddie Smith at 174-pounds, and first-year Kalik Battle at 133-pounds. First-year Ross Lembeck at 165-pounds got third place. Sophomore Gabe Pleasants at 157-pounds rounded out the day by taking fourth place.
The Duhawks had a great start to the wrestling season with winning their first dual against University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 30-12, on Saturday. Junior Michael Triplett at 133-pounds had a 10-4 win over Michael Bannach, lasting all three periods. Lembeck came back with a big win by tech fall to improve his record to 5-0 for the season. Battle jumped up two weight classes to 149-pounds and still showed his dominance by winning a close match, 3-1, with a third period comeback.
Smith had a big match against the defending NCAA Division III Champion, Logan Hermsen. Smith came out strong and aggressive to take a 6-1 lead, and he ended up keeping his advantage and beating Hermsen. Patron continued his winning with getting a 13-5 major decision against Dylan Diebitz, who only got escape points on Patron.
“I expect the guys to take it one day at a time and try to improve each day,” said head coach TJ Miller. “If we can get everyone on the team striving to get better, we will be in good shape towards the end.”
Miller knows that facing University of Wisconsin-Platteville will be a challenge.
“Keys to beating UW-P will be to come out ready to fight for seven minutes,” said Miller. “It will be a very challenging dual meet for us. They had five NCAA qualifiers last year and have multiple guys ranked throughout their line-up. We are going to have to wrestle tough Thursday.”
On Saturday, the Duhawks will head to the Concordia Wisconsin Open.
“They are going to have to approach each day this week with the idea of improving,” Miller said. “They will need to manage their things outside of the wrestling room as well to have a clear mind on this trip. And unlike any other sport, they will need to manage their weight this week having a dual Thursday and another weigh in on Saturday.”
The Duhawks have a dual meet on Thursday at UW-P followed by their trip to Concordia for a full weekend of wrestling.