Posted: Dec 17, 2012 10:51 AM
MARSHALL, MO -- The No. 7 ranked Missouri Valley College men's wrestling team traveled to Reno, Nevada for the Reno Tournament of Champions event. The Vikings went up against mostly NCAA Division I wrestlers at the tournament, with one Viking bringing home a medal.
Earning a medal for the Vikings was Junior Josh Manu at 197 pounds. Manu made it to the championship semifinals thanks to decision victories over wrestlers from Clackamas University, Boise State University, and Michigan State University. In the semifinals Manu was defeated by the eventual weight class champion Alfonso Hernandez of the University of Wyoming by pin in the third period. Manu was defeated by pin in the fifth place match by Luke Jones of Michigan State.
Other Viking wrestlers who notched victories included Freshman Jacob Ekster in the 149 pound weight class. Ekster advanced to the championship quarterfinals thanks to decision victories over wrestlers from the University of Wyoming in round two and Grand Canyon University in round three. Ekster lost in the quarterfinals to the eventual second place finisher in the weight class, Dan Osterman, of Michigan State. Ekster was defeated in his first wrestleback match. At 157 pounds Sophomore Nico Martinez dropped his first match, but picked up a victory by decision in his first wrestleback match over a competitor from Minnesota State before dropping his second wrestleback match.
Senior Gian Traverso dropped his first match in the 165 pound weight class, but won three wrestleback matches all by decision. Traverso defeated two wrestlers from Southern Oregon University and one from Boise State before losing in the wrestlerback fifth round. At 184 pounds Freshman Brett Bader won his first match of the day by a 17-6 decision over a wrestler from Cal State Bakersfield, but lost in the championship third round. In the wrestlebacks Bader won by decision in his first match by pin over a wrestler from Adams State University before losing in the wrestleback fifth round. In the 285 pound weight class Freshman Gabbi Musallam won his first round match by decision over a wrestler from Simpson College before losing in the second round. In his first wrestleback match Mussallam defeated a wrestler from Campbell University by decision, but was defeated in the next wrestleback round. Also in the wrestlebacks at 285 pounds, Junior Dan Mueller picked up a second round victory over a wrestler from Clackamas by a pin in the second period. Mueller won his next match by a decision over a wrestler from Appalachian State University before being eliminated.
The Vikings finished No. 17 in the team standings out of 27 teams, with 25.5 points. The team champion was Oregon State University with 145 points.
The Vikings will next be in action January 11 and 12 at the NAIA National Duals in Springfield, Illinois.