SDSU wrestlers competed in the Tournament of Champions in Reno, Nev., on Dec. 20.
The Jacks were led by a different face than normal, as 141-pound sophomore Dustin Walraven finished the day with the most wins and advanced the farthest in his bracket. Walraven had the only winning record for SDSU at 3-2.
Walraven opened the day with a win over Jacob Stanley (Southwest Oregon) and moved onto Adin Duenas (Cal State Fullerton) in a tightly contested match. Walraven was winning the match going into the final period until Duenas battled to take an 8-5 lead that he would not relinquish. Walraven won his next two matches over Corey Phillips (Eastern Michigan) and Justin Arredondo (UC-Davis). His final match of the day was against Matt Pagan (Navy) in a 6-5 loss.
“Walraven really wrestled good,” said head coach Jason Liles. “Everyone did, except Sorenson.”
Senior Tyler Sorenson (ranked No. 10 nationally) suffered an upset 11-6 in his opening match in the 197-pound class against Shawn Fendone (Edinboro). The match was a big upset, as Sorenson had the No. 2 seed in the tournament.
“I think that it was just one of those days where you can’t put everything together,” said Sorenson. “I just have to make sure it’s the only time that happens.”
In Sorenson’s next match, he got back on track with a pin over Anthony Pike (Arizona State) in 3:59. Unfortunately for Sorenson, he stumbled in his third match and lost to L.J. Helbig (Wyoming) 6-5.
“Both of those coaches watched (Sorenson) wrestle before and they adjusted their game plans, and we didn’t,” said Liles.
The smallest Jackrabbit proved to be one of the best, as 125-pound sophomore Aaron Pickrel finished the day with a 1-2 record. Pickrel lost his opening match against Chris Notte (Oklahoma State) by a takedown 4-2. In his next match, Pickrel shutout Andy Forstner (MSU Mankato) 6-0. That would prove to be his last win though, as he would post a 12-5 loss against Mitchell Lofstedt (Southern Oregon).
The last Jack to post a win was 157-pound sophomore Nick Flynn. Flynn opened the day like most of the other Jacks with a loss. He wrestled Adam Hall (Boise State) and was never really in the match, as he lost 16-2.
Flynn’s next match posted one of the few Jackrabbit wins, as he pinned Travis Elg (MSU Mankato) in 2:18. Flynn’s next match was his last, however, as he dropped the match against Clay Tucker (Ohio) in another lopsided match 12-3.
The rest of the Jacks would not fare anywhere near as well, as they would all go two-and-out.
At 133, Tyler Johnson lost two matches by pin to Kyle Fluke (Edinboro) and David Prado (Arizona State).
The Jacks had two competitors at 149, as freshmen Nick Hagar and Tyler Palmer both went 0-2 on the day. Hagar lost to Seth Morton (Ohio) 11-0 and Brandon Loro (West Virginia) 6-3. Palmer lost to J.J. Johnson (Eastern Michigan) and Eric Maldonado (Cal Poly).
Weston Blasius also went 0-2 at 157. Blasius lost two decisions to Joey Deaguero (Adams State) and Geoff Doss (Cal Poly). Although the Deaguero match was not close, Blasius lost to Doss by only one point.
Another freshman competed for the Jacks at 174. Joe Rasmussen had a hard day, as he first took on Jake Rice (Southwest Oregon) in a 5-2 loss and then Phillip Joseph (Eastern Michigan) in a 10-4 loss.
The final wrestler for the Jacks was the heavyweight senior Jeremy Swier. Swier also had a tough day, as he lost both his matches without scoring a point. His first match against Chris Birchler (Edinboro) was a 9-0 loss, and his next match wouldn’t be much better, as he lost to Justin Haines (West Virginia) 8-0.
The Jacks’ next match is against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville at Edwardsville, Ill., on Jan. 20.