The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

GV men’s wrestling manhandles Rochester 51-1 in home dual

Courtesy GVSU Athletics

Following two shorthanded away losses against the Notre Dame College Falcons and the No. 2 ranked West Liberty University Hilltoppers, No. 11 Grand Valley State University men’s wrestling (10-4) returned home for a huge victory.

After missing nearly all of their top wrestlers a week prior to injuries and illness, the Lakers were back to full health and beat Rochester University with a dominating final score of 51-1 on Wednesday, Jan. 24. 

Despite this being GVSU’s inaugural season, they have been able to establish themselves as a top-ranked program nationwide. The Lakers’ head coach, Joey Simcoe, feels like the team is on track to meet many of their goals in their first year.

“Some of our main goals this year were to have a 3.0 team GPA and to finish top 10. We are exceeding most, and we are pushing our expectations,” Simcoe said. “We talk about never settling, whether it be school or wrestling. We plan to push our expectations, but also set them high.”

In the first matchup of the meet, Rochester forfeited in the 125-pound weight class, putting GVSU up 6-0 before the action even started, giving the automatic win to freshman Luca Conflitti.

Opening the duel for the Lakers was 133 pound freshman Collin Twigg. Twigg would quickly get back-to-back takedowns, putting him up by six points early. Shortly after, Twigg would wrestle his way into pinning his opponent, Dallas Stanton, scoring one of many bonus point wins for the Lakers.

Junior Jak Keller, in the 141-pound class, followed up at a slower pace. After Keller played a more decisive approach, a late burst of energy would score him 19 points, giving him the win by technical fall.

Next up to wrestle was the No. 4 ranked 149-pounder, sophomore Chris Donathan. His undefeated record of 16-0. Using his power and quickness, Donathan pinned his overmatched opponent, Nathan Young.

In the following match, junior Caden Jacobs, wrestled in the 157-pound weight class. Although the scuffle began slowly and with few points, the crowd of nearly 550 people cheered on the close contest. A takedown in the final seconds by the Warriors would give them the win, but unsportsmanlike conduct by Rochester’s head coach Wesley Maskill would lose them a point. 

Halfway through the meet, GVSU led 23-2, showing no signs of stopping the smattering as they went into their next match.

Freshman Trammel Robinson, standing 6’1” and 165 pounds, was up next. Starting with an early takedown for the lead, Robinson joined Keller and Donathan with a pin on his opponent late in the match. Another unsportsmanlike conduct would be called, this time on the Falcon’s Jailen Tatum, dropping Rochester’s score to just one point as the Lakers moved to 29 total points.

Robinson leads the team in wins, making this one his 22nd of the season.

Succeeding that match was redshirt sophomore and No. 2 nationally ranked 174-pounder Josh Kenny. Kenny swiftly put up 17 points in the match, giving him the win by technical fall as Rochester’s David Van Daele mustered two points.

Moving his record to 19-4, Kenny said a lot of work goes into being a top ranked wrestler and it is a part of creating a name for GVSU’s wrestling program in its first year. 

You have to pour your heart and soul into every practice, conditioning, lift or match. I train seven days a week, and five of those days consist of working out twice daily. This does not include the film you watch about your opponents or the strict diet you have to follow when the competition gets close,” Kenny said. “Grand Valley is at the pinnacle of DII athletics and I wanted to be a part of the inaugural program that puts Grand Valley on the map for wrestling.”

Keeping the dominance going for the Lakers, 184-pound senior Seth Konynenbelt got yet another pin before the No. 9 ranked 197-pounder, GVSU sophomore Wyatt Miller, took to the mat. Miller extended his team’s lead with a technical fall before freshman heavyweight Owen Hawley pinned Rochester’s Jackson Slenk, using a suplex to help get the takedown.

The Lakers will next travel to Indianapolis, Indiana, where they will head to the University of Indianapolis (4-5) for the Greyhound Dual and Greyhound open on Saturday, Feb. 3 and Sunday, Feb. 4.

GVSU will then head back to Allendale, Michigan to take on Findlay University for their final home meet at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8.

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