On the wrestling mats this past week, the Geneseo wrestling team placed third at the conference meet and also grabbed a non-conference victory over state-ranked Mercer County.
NIB 12 Conference Meet
Geneseo junior Brandon Mizlo was crowned conference champion in his first trip to the Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference Meet at 170 pounds Jan. 19 in Sycamore.
The Leafs, as a team, placed third overall behind Sycamore and Yorkville. Geneseo had 11 wrestlers place in the Top 6 at the meet.
Mizlo received a bye in his opening match, but went on to defeat Ren Swick of Sycamore in a 6-2 decision in the second round. In the championship bout, Mizlo beat Chris Morehouse of LaSalle-Peru in an 8-4 decision.
Ryan Pitra (160-lbs.) had the second-highest finish for the Leafs in second place. Pitra earned a major decision win, 11-2, in the opening round over Bryant Lilly of Sterling, followed by a win by injury default in 3 minutes and 7 seconds over Colin Adkins of DeKalb. In the championship match, Pitra was pinned in 5:10 by Tyler Wilkinson of Yorkville.
Josiah Cropp (145-lbs.) took home third-place honors in his weight class. Cropp won his first match by a 12-0 major decision over Collin Groleau of LaSalle-Peru, but in the next match fell in a 13-11 decision to Dylan Foster of Sycamore. Cropp bounced back to defeat his Yorkville opponent in a 13-0 major decision, and won the third-place match over L-P's Groleau in a 12-2 major decision.
Hunter Grau (120-lbs.) placed fourth in his weight class. Grau lost his first match to Nick Roach of DeKalb by pin in 3:50, but rebounded to pin his opponent from LaSalle-Peru in 4:35. Grau then won in a 7-0 decision over Collin Druck of Sycamore, but was pinned in the third-place match by Brandon Brown of Yorkville in 1:13.
Cole Hunzeker (152-lbs.) also took fourth at the conference meet as he won his first match over his Sterling opponent by technical fall, 20-4. He fell in his next match to DeKalb's Matt Macarus by technical fall, 20-5, but rebounded to pin his Kaneland opponent in 2:51. He pinned Austin Lopez of Streator in 3:43 in his next match, but fell by technical fall, 15-0 to Gunnar Hojorth of Yorkville in the third-place match.
Lane Akre (195-lbs.) placed fourth for the Leafs as he lost his first match by a 20-6 major decision to Alex Fuentes of Ottawa. Akre received a bye in his next match, and went on to pin Sterling's Josh Villarreal in 1:10. Akre lost the third-place match in a 14-9 decision to Fuentes.
Nick Verbeck (285-lbs.) placed fourth for the Leafs going 2-2 for the tournament. Verbeck opened with a 5-4 decision win over DeKalb's Wes Leffelman, but lost the next match to Sterling's Curtis Lilly in a 3-2 decision. He rebounded to win his match with Sycamore's Devin Knight by ultimate tie breaker, 2-2, and was edged out in the third-place match by Ottawa's Sean Taulbee in a 4-3 decision.
Page 2 of 3 - Antonio Tumbarello (106-lbs.) finished the day in fifth place as he lost his opening match to Yorkville's Tyler Burlington in an 8-0 major decision. Tumbarello came back to defeat Kaneland's Adam Mish in a 15-2 major decision, but then lost to Sycamore's Bryce Hansen in an 8-3 decision. Tumbarello won the fifth-place match by pin in 1:21 over Rochelle's Jacboy Meyers.
Mitch Miller (182-lbs.) also took home fifth-place honors as he won his opening match by pin in 1:49 over Ottawa's Paul Turner, but fell in the next match in an 11-3 major decision to Yorkville's Bobby Schillinger. Miller lost his next bout to Sycamore's Christopher Malone in an 8-7 decision, and bounced back to take fifth by a 7-4 decision over his LaSalle-Peru opponent.
Clayton Kennedy (126-lbs.) lost his first match in a 9-6 decision over Sycamore's Jesus Renteria, but responded with a 10-4 decision over Sterling's John Hardy. Kennedy pinned Ottawa's Maddie Mach in :29, but then fell in a 12-3 major decision to Rochelle's TC Hager. Kennedy lost the fifth-place bout in a 9-6 decision to Renteria to take sixth place.
Jon Warner (113-lbs.) also placed sixth for the Leafs. He lost his first match to Rochelle's Jeff Board in a 12-6 decision, but then pinned Morris' Jake Crowther in 5:38. He defeated DeKalb's Brenden McGee in a 12-4 major decision, but was pinned in his next match by Kaneland's Stephen Gust in 1:08. He lost the fifth-place match to Rochelle's Board in a 12-6 decision.
Other wrestlers competing for Geneseo were: Cody Bormann (132-lbs.) went 1-2 with a 8-6 decision win, and was pinned in 4:56 and :32; Jarred Bruce (138-lbs.) lost both his matches, 9-4 decision and pinned in 1:26; and AJ Marmion (220-lbs.) was pinned in 1:20 and 2:33.
Geneseo vs. Mercer County
With a pin, forfeit and major decision win in the final three matches of the night, the Leaf wrestlers emerged victorious over host Mercer County, 34-28 Jan. 22.
Kennedy (126-lbs.) started the night off with a major decision win for the Leafs, 16-4, followed by Josh Dodge (132-lbs.) with a pin in 2:40.
Bruce (138-lbs.) suffered a 9-2 loss in his match, while Cropp (145-lbs.) nabbed an 8-2 decision win. Joey Medina (152-lbs.) fell in an 8-2 decision, and Hunzeker (160-lbs.) was defeated in a 14-3 major decision.
Gage Blackert (170-lbs.) was pinned in 2:23, followed by Miller (182-lbs.) who fell in a 13-10 decision. Akre (195-lbs.) pinned his opponent in 2:58, and Verbeck (285-lbs.) lost in a 6-2 decision. Geneseo forfeited the 220-lb. match.
Tumbarello (106-lbs.) made quick work of his opponent with a pin in :53, while Warner (113-lbs.) received a forfeit, and Grau (120-lbs.) won his match by major decision to give Geneseo the win. No score was available for his match.
Page 3 of 3 - The Leafs will next compete in the Rock Island Regional Feb. 2.