WHEATON, Ill. — Luke Rynish won the title at 174 pounds to help lead Wisconsin-Parkside wrestling to the team championship at the 2012 Pete Wilson Wheaton Invitiational. The Rangers amassed 117.5 points to outdistance UW-Whitewater, which placed second with 102.0. It was the Rangers’ third team title at Wheaton in four years and seventh all time.
The Pete Willson-Wheaton Invitational featured 31 teams in the nation’s oldest and largest small-college wrestling tournament.
“Obviously we’re really proud of the guys,” head coach Gregg Lewis said. “We had a lot of guys wrestle really well and I thought we really earned this win.”
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Mount Union was third with 92.5 points, Indianapolis scored 91.5 points in fourth place and Olivet College rounded out the top five with 88 points.
Four individual awards were also handed out at Saturday’s conclusion. Tim Wunnicke of Wisconsin-Platteville was named George Olson Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament. Wunnicke won the 133-pound title with a 5-0 record that included four pins.
Additionally, Wheaton junior Darren Faber earned the Pete George Sportsmanship Award, which is voted on by the referees at the invite. Ohio Northern’s Michael Letcher garnered the Jack Swartz Award for most falls in the least amount of time, with four pins in a time of 8:11 at 157 pounds. The Fastest Fall Award went to Mount Union heavyweight Derick Hesson in 16 seconds.
The host, Wheaton College, scored 17 points during the two days to finish in 26th place. A pair of Thunder wrestlers finished in eighth place, with Mitch Steed going 3-3 in the 184-pound weight class and Darren Faber was also 3-3 in the 197-pound weight class.
Faber opened the tournament as the No. 2 seed at 197 pounds and won a 7-6 decision in the first round against Justin Leonard of Olivet College. He defeated Mount Union’s Chad Teague 12-8 in the second round. Seventh-seeded Adam Latella of UW-Whitewater defeated Faber 5-3 in the quarterfinals. Faber won a 12-5 decision against Conrad Bovee of Alma in the consolation round.
On Saturday, Faber lost to Olivet’s Justin Leonard by a 4-2 margin and then dropped the seventh-place match 7-6 to John Carroll’s Jim Nemunaitis. The unseeded Steed defeated No. 8 seed Matt Rieckhoff of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in a 6-1 decision in the opening round of action at 184-pounds. Steed won a 10-2 major decision against Andrew Hiller of North Central in his second match.
Top-seeded Greg Rhoads of Wabash defeated Steed 13-7 in the quarterfinals and the Thunder grappler responded by winning a 5-2 decision against Samuel Pennisi from University of Chicago in the consolation round. In Saturday’s action, Steed lost to No. 4-seed Matt Gille from Wisconsin Parkside 11-1 and then lost 14-6 in the seventh-place match versus No. 2-seed Tim Stewart of Messiah College.