York, PA – The USMMA wrestling team was led by a strong performance from Tyler Russell (Georgetown, ME), who finished fourth at 197 pounds at the York Invitational. However, the Mariners finished in 13th place at the annual event, which features very strong Division III competition. Bernard Watson (Fort Morgan, CO) also had a strong outing, making a deep run in the consolation bracket before the event advanced directly to the championship bouts because of time restraints.
Russell entered the tournament as the seventh seed in the 197 pound bracket and started the day with a decisive win over Ryan Arston of TCNJ, 12-3. The junior then knocked off second seeded Blake McNulty of Johnson with a 5-2 upset victory. However, Russell then dropped back-to-back matches, still finishing fourth in the weight class.
Watson got off to a tough start on the day, falling to Alec Horan of Delaware Valley, 4-2, in his opening bout. However, the sophomore grappler quickly recovered and tallied four straight victories, including two by pin fall to finish the event on a high note. Tournament officials were forced to skip some matches in the consolation brackets in order to complete the championship rounds in a timely manner.
Josh Miller (Jackson Hole, WY) was the eighth seed at 174 pounds and started the tournament with a pin fall win over Dylan Selp of TCNJ followed by a 12-7 decision over Christopher Yocum of Delaware Valley. But he would suffer back-to-back defeats to end his afternoon, including a loss to 174 pound champion Jules Dollscar of Ithaca.
Samuel Lyscas (Imlay City, MI) earned a win in the only overtime bout that featured a USMMA grappler. The freshman defeated Shane Hughes of Millersville, 6-5, in the extra session.
The Mariners return to action next weekend at the Long Island Invitational, which will now be hosted at the Merchant Marine Academy as a result of the ongoing recovery from Hurricane Sandy.