FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Jan. 8, 2016) – The USMMA wrestling team had time for one more match at the NWCA National Duals on Friday night, an extra match outside of the brackets against Wheaton College (Ill.). After falling behind with four straight losses, the Mariners came back to narrowly edge the Thunder, 18-16, by earning decisions in the final two classes. The win improves Merchant Marine's record to 5-4 on the season, while Wheaton falls to 0-4.
Both teams forfeited 125, so scoring in the match began at 133, where freshman Kimo Dial (Poway, Calif.) claimed six points with a forfeit win. Classmate Daniel May (Stafford, Va.) earned three points with a 2-1 decision over the Thunder's freshman Eric Wales at 133.
Junior Nathan Twito (Ames, Iowa) picked up his third win of the day at 149 with an 8-3 victory over Wheaton junior Zachary Harrell. He was named the Mariners' Wrestler of the Meet. That win gave USMMA a 12-0 lead in the match.
The Thunder struck back, however, with four straight wins at 157 (decision), 165 (major decision), 174 (decision) and 184 (fall) to take a 16-12 lead.
Senior Ricky Fisher (Nashville, Tenn.) brought the Mariners back to within one point when he earned three with a 9-2 decision at 197 over Wheaton sophomore Tim Blickle. Which set up a winner-take-all bout at 285, which freshman Brandon Joest (Kendallville, Ind.) claimed a narrow victory in by the score of 5-3.
The Mariners return to action next Saturday, Jan. 16, when they travel to McDaniel College to take on Centennial opponents the host Green Terror and Washington and Lee. Action is set to get underway at 11 a.m.
(Correction: An early release from the NWCA National Duals mentioned that Nathan Henkle won at 149 in the match against Alma College. Nathan Twito was the wrestler at the 149 weight class for the Mariners for all three matches at the Mat Mayhem event.)
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