Maroons head north for Elmhurst Invite

The wrestling squad will head across town to Elmhurst in hopes of repeating as Al Hanke Invitational champions.

By Zachary Themer

Having won their last five matches, the Maroons look to crumble the competition this weekend and defend their title at the Al Hanke Invitational at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, IL.

At the Al Hanke Invitational, the South Siders will be one of five teams vying for the top prize at the tournament’s 33rd annual rendition. In order to defend their crown, the Maroons will have to fend off four formidable opponents: Elmhurst College, Harper College, the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), and Waubonsee College.

While the Maroons will face stiff competition this weekend, they have had the good fortunes of facing some of the other teams in the tournament already this season.

Last Saturday, the South Siders topped MSOE by a score of 31–12 at the Lakeland College Duals. In their matchup against MSOE, the Maroons won six of the 10 matches they had, including dominating performances from the likes of second-year Paul Papoutsis in the 165-pound weight class, who topped his opponent by a score of 10–1. Similarly, first-year Devan Richter manhandled his opponent as well as he won via a fall only 1:39 into the match.

Like they have with MSOE, the Maroons have prior history with Harper College this season. Two weeks ago at the Chicago Duals, the Maroons topped their interstate rivals by a score of 30–21. Led by the likes of fourth-year Adam Wyeth, who won a close matchup in the 141-pound weight class by a score of 8–7, the South Siders were able to secure a comfortable win two weeks ago.

However, the Maroons have not yet had the opportunity this season to take on their other foes this weekend, Elmhurst College and Waubonsee College. Against these two opponents, the squad will have to face similarly youthful squads that are hungry to win the tournament.

With Elmhurst especially, there is a strong narrative building up. Elmhurst hosts the Al Hanke Invitational, and after losing to Chicago by only six points last year, it wants nothing more than to topple the boys from Hyde Park and reclaimitshome title.

The Al Hanke Invitational will kick off this Saturday at 10 a.m. at Elmhurst College. Individual match times will be posted at a later date on the tournament’s website.