WILLIAMSPORT, PA – The Spartan wrestling team had a strong first day at the Southeast Regional tournament sending four wrestlers into Saturday's semifinals. The Spartans also have another wrestler still alive in the tournament with a chance to advance to the semifinals tomorrow morning.
Seniors Greg Warner, Frankie Krauss, Jesse Huber, and Dylan Nuttall all advanced to the Saturday's semifinals after each posted a perfect 2-0 day while junior Brandon Ballard still has his hopes alive after going 2-1 for the day.
Nuttall started the day off with a dominating performance when he pinned Penn State Behrend's Michael Benni in 5:30 and followed that up with another strong bout winning via major decision by a 9-0 score against King's College Dakota Quick. Nuttall is looking strong as he looks to repeat as the regional champion at 125 pounds. His day will start tomorrow with a semifinal bout against #10 Josiah Gehr of Messiah College.
At 149 pounds, Warner started his day off making quick work of Thiel College's Vincent Mion with a 16-0 tech fall in just 3:09. In the next round, Warner defeated Austin Smith from Ferrum College 6-2. The score was close but Warner got out to an early lead and was in complete control for a majority of the match. Warner will look to continue his bid at a fourth appearance at the national tournament with a semifinal matchup against Washington & Jefferson's Michael Heinl.
Krauss continued his solid senior campaign at 184 pounds with a pair of victories starting with a 14-5 major decision over Colin Browne from Penn College. He followed that up edging out a 5-3 win over Ferrum College's Braden Homsey. Krauss will take on Rexx Hallyburton of Washington & Lee in his semifinal match tomorrow morning in his quest to return to the national tournament.
The final Spartan to punch his ticket to the semifinals was senior Jesse Huber at 197 pounds. Huber won a pair of close matches starting with a 6-3 victory over Robert West from Washington & Jefferson. He followed that up with an 8-4 win that he was in complete control of after jumping out early in the opening period to a 4-0 lead over Wilkes' Moustafa Almeky. Huber looks to continue his journey for his first ever appearance at the national tournament with a semifinal bout against Lycoming's Travis Ogden.
Ballard, the representative for the Spartans in the heavy weight division, will look to keep his hopes alive with a consolation match against Ferrum's Alveno Matthews. Ballard started his day with a 55 second pin over Messiah's Dennis Karas before falling to current #1 ranked and defending national champion Jake Evans from Waynesburg University. With his back against the wall, Ballard defeated Johns Hopkins' Henri Behaeghel 2-1 to advance to the consolation match that will kick off his day on Saturday.
Tyson McDuffy represented York in the 133-pound weight class but fell in both of his matchups. Blake Shalbert was defeated in both of his bouts at 141 pounds for the Spartans. Robbie Fleming in the 157-pound division fell in both of his matchups. Jesse Rocco went 1-2 on the day in 165 pounds falling in the consolation match via tech fall ending his season. At 174 pounds, Joe Sindoni started the day with a pin before falling in his last two matches finishing 1-2 for the tournament.
The five Spartans with national tournament hopes still alive will continue wrestling tomorrow with action beginning around 10:00 am.