The wrestling team officially started its season this weekend at the Trine University Invitational. It was a strong start to the season for the Maroons, as they finished the tournament in third place of nine teams, and had two champions: first-year Louis DeMarco in the 125-pound class, and second-year Nick Ferraro in the 165-pound class.
Yet, the impressive results alone do not tell the entire story of just how strong a start this was. The South Siders had so many strong wrestlers competing that they ended up eliminating their own fellow teammates.
“The team really performed well in the first tournament of the year,” Ferraro said. “Since it was an open tournament, we were able to start as many wrestlers as we wanted in each weight class, and as a result there was a handful of rounds where we were wrestling each other, and unfortunately we were knocking each other out of the running for placing.
In addition to Ferraro and DeMarco winning their classes, third-year Paul Papoutsis and second-year Kavan Mulloy took home third and fourth place in the 174-pound weight class, respectively. First-year John Jayne and second-year Graham Grant both took home third place in their own weight classes as well.
“We competed pretty well, especially for it being our first tournament of the year,” DeMarco said. “Everyone looked technically sound. The coaches were pleased with our intensity and conditioning.”
DeMarco was just one of many first-years who had a strong start to their UChicago careers, as the 2015-16 Wresting Maroons boast a total of ten rookies on their roster.
Ferraro was particularly impressed with the newcomers competing in their first-ever collegiate tournament. “Trine was the first time I got to see a lot of the freshmen wrestle, and I'm excited for the rest of the year because we had some really strong performances out of them,” he said. “Louis won the tournament at 125, and a few others won a lot of matches but fell short of placing because of the size of the brackets.”
The Trine Invitational is just the first of many tournaments, and the South Siders are very aware of how long and tough the wrestling season is. They have already moved on from their success this weekend and are preparing for the Concordia Tournament next weekend.
“The wrestling season is a pretty long one, and we have a lot of tough matches coming up,” added Ferraro. “Trine’s a good first tournament because it introduces the freshmen to college wrestling without discouraging them. We have the Concordia Tournament this coming weekend, and that tournament is known to be a tough tournament. I look forward to that because it will be a good representation of what we should expect for the end of the season, and will give us all some idea of what the season has in store for us.”