ITHACA, N.Y. – The Norwich University wrestling team opened the season at the Ithaca Invitational where it earned an 11th place finish in the event which spanned Friday and Saturday.
The team accumulated 52.5 points overall highlighted by standout performances by senior Michael Wagner (Tyngsborough, Mass.) and sophomore Drake Troyer (Lakewood, Colo.) who combined for 30 points. The top team in the tournament was Johnson and Wales (R.I.) which finished with 147 points. Baldwin Wallace (131.5 points) and host Ithaca (123.5 points) rounded out the top three finishers.
Wagner, the eighth-seeded wrestler at 285 pounds heading into the bouts, faced a tough opponent in his quarterfinal loss as he was pinned by the eventual champion of the weight class, number one seed Drew Kasper from Otterbein. Undeterred, Wagner reeled off three more victories, including his final wins of the tournament over the third and fourth-seeded wrestlers to place fifth overall.
After losing in his opening bout in the main draw to the number two ranked wrestler, Troyer demonstrated excellent endurance by amassing four-straight wins including a pair over the third and seventh-seeded wrestlers at 141 pounds to finish 6th in the weight class.
Joining Wagner and Troyer at the top with a pair of pins during the tournament was freshman Cameron Wooldridge (Roanoke, Va.) who fell to the eventual champion in his second pairing after claiming his first collegiate win in the second round. He recorded his second victory in the fourth round of the consolation before bowing out to the eventual fourth-place finisher.
The competition at this year's tournament, which saw two additional teams from last year, was stout as the Cadets' 52.5 team points topped last year's 51.0 points but saw the team finish four spots lower in the overall team standings.
Norwich will return to the mats this Friday with a dual meet scheduled at Western New England for 7 p.m.