- Zach Sturgill
Wrestling starts off 2018 in Top 25 Poll
The Olivet College wrestling team has been in action since November, and have been successful moving up in the ranks of the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA).
The Comets are thirteenth in Division III, after their performance in the NWCA Multi-Divisional National Duals Jan. 4 and 5. The event was hosted in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where Olivet defeated Augustana College, New York University, Wheaton College, and North Central College.
After the duals, Olivet had its first head-to-head match against a former conference opponent, the Alma College Scots. The matchup between the two teams was on Jan. 11, at The Cutler Event Center. The Comets won four consecutive individual matches. Junior Jack Tromp won by forfeit, then Freshman Trevor Piggott won by an 8-4 decision. The following match featured Senior Jared Brickley, who won by a tight margin of 3-2. That match was the closest victory for Olivet, but the next win was Freshman Spencer Fox winning 18-7, the largest margin of the day for the Comets.
Olivet dropped the middle two matches in the 141 and 149 pound weight classes. Following the losses, the final four individuals won their matches. Senior John Leark defeated his opponent by technical pin fall, by a score of 18-0. Junior Tyler Grimsley won his match by a score of 17-5. This was Grimsley’s first match as the sixth ranked wrestler in the 165 pound weight class of Division III. Following Grimsley was Sophomore Haydn Kinjorski, who had a two minute and thirty-eight second pin against his opponent. Ending off the match, Senior Ryan Clark won 20-10 to seal the victory versus Alma.
At the match, it was announced that the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) would have wrestling returning as a competitive sport. Conference matches will be effective in the 2018-2019 season. Former Olivet College wrestling coach Jared Klein was honored at the match, who coached the last MIAA championship wrestling team in the 1983-1984 season. He has 10 championships to his name at Olivet.
The results of the home match against Adrian College on Jan. 18 were not available at press time.