Best Of the Midwest
Jan. 5, 2009
Courtesy of Newberry College
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The fifth-ranked Newberry College wrestling claimed the 38th Annual Midwest Classic by a combined team score of 149.5 points. Josh Whitelock (Rhodesdale, Md.) claimed the 174 championship as well as the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler for his performance that included two pins, one technical fall and a decision. Cy Wainwright (Green Cove Spring, Fla.) overwhelmed his competition to win the 285 title with two major decisions, one technical fall and a pin.
Six other scarlet and gray wrestlers placed in the tournament; Matt Oliver (Toms River, N.J.) and Bryant Blanton (Summerville, S.C.) claimed second place in the 125 and 184 weight classes. Competing at 149 pounds, Latra Collick (Berlin, Md.) placed third along with Keeno Griffin (Jacksonville, Fla.), who competed at 197 lbs. The two other placers were 141 pound fifth-place finisher Tony Washington (Georgetown, S.C.) and Sheridan Moran (Lafayette, La.), who finished sixth at 133 pounds.
Whitelock defeated Brian Schultz of Augustana in the championship semifinals with a pinfall at the 5:22 mark, which was his first fall of the season. In the 174 pound finals, Whitelock defeated third ranked Justin Ferguson of Ashland with a second period fall at the 4:09 mark, which extended his winning streak to 11 matches.
Competing in the 285 pound division, Wainwright claimed a 14-3 major decision over Frank McGrath of Gannon to advance to the championship finals. Wainwright’s victory over McGrath also served as his 100th career victory, a feat that is a program first. In the conclusion of the Midwest Classic, Wainwright defeated sixth-ranked Trey Moss of Limestone with a 20-7 major decision. The two major decisions on Sunday for Wainwright propelled him into sole possession of second place for most career major decisions with 12.
Oliver defeated sixth-ranked Cody Zimmerman of Wisconsin-Parkside by a 7-0 decision in the championship semifinals. The shutout victory was Oliver’s seventh shutout victory of the season. Competing against the second-ranked Arsenia Barksdale of Adams State, Oliver was unable to upset the higher ranked Barksdale as he fell by a 5-1 decision in the championship match giving Oliver the second place crown.
Recording his third straight first-period fall was Blanton, who pinned Gannon’s Jacob Tazzi with five seconds remaining in the first period. In the championship match, Blanton faced Wisconsin-Parkside’s Lucas Haay, but was unable to defeat his 11th straight opponent as he fell by a 10-6 decision. Blanton took a 6-4 lead into the third period, but Tazzi scored a takedown and a three-point near fall to secure the victory.
Facing off against eighth ranked Craig Becker of Wisconsin-Parkside, Collick was unable to overcome an early 4-0 deficit as he fell to Becker, 5-3, in the championship semifinals. Collick rallied back to win his next two matches as he defeated Augustana’s Chism Fink with a fall at the 4:48 mark in the consolation semifinals and then with another pin against William Forrest of Central Missouri at the 3:20 mark, which was his fourth pin of the tournament.
At 197 pounds, Griffin faced off against fifth-ranked Ty Copsey of Augustana, but was unable to defeat his higher ranked opponent as he lost by a 4-2 decision. In the consolation semifinals, Griffin defeated Findlay's Andy Zalaiskans with an 8-5 decision. Griffin used one takedown in every period to beat Zalaiskans. The third place match pitted Griffin against Malcolm Briggs of Wisconsin-Parkside, who Griffin defeated by a 9-0 major decision improving his season record to 13-2.
Washington had a difficult Sunday matchup as faced off against top-ranked Raymond Dunning of Adams State College, who defeated Washington with a 5-2 decision. Washington nearly pulled off the upset as he scored a late reversal and almost pinned Dunning in the closing seconds. In the consolation semifinals, Washington fell to A.J. Milanak of Gannon by a 5-1 decision. Washington was then set up with a matchup against Cory Bloodgood of Central Missouri, who he defeated by a 6-3 decision giving Washington the fifth-place title.
Moran was unable to compete on Sunday as he forfeited his matches due to an injury sustained on the previous day. Despite the forfeits, Moran still claimed sixth place because of his two wins in the opening rounds on Saturday.
Newberry returns to action next week in the invite-only NWCA National Duals in Cedar Rapids, Iowa hosted by the University of Northern Iowa.