#9 Men’s Wrestling finishes 3rd at Missouri Valley Invitational
Men’s Wrestling | Sat, Jan. 19, 2019 at 1:15 PM
MARSHALL, Mo. – In one of the largest tournaments of the wrestling season, #9 Men’s Wrestling finish in third place during the 2019 Missouri Valley Open. The two-day event featured 41 teams, giving the Oaks one of their biggest challenges before the Cascade Collegiate Conference Championships and the NAIA National Championships. The third place finish matches their spot from last season, when the tournament held only 30 teams.
Team Score Report
Menlo was in position to surprise a lot of people after the first day of the tournament, when the Oaks were in second place behind only top-ranked Grand View University. The margin was only ten team points, so it certainly seemed plausible that Menlo had a chance to take down the mighty Vikings. Grand View, ranked #1 in the NAIA since 2012, added 100 points on the final day to finish first, with #8 Lindsey Wilson College surpassing the Oaks to finish second. Menlo’s third place finish was followed up by #17 Baker and the hosts, #11 Missouri Valley. #3 Montana State-Northern, the top-ranked team in the CCC, finished tenth.
Freshman Getting it Done
He might not be wrestling like someone in his first season, but Riley Siason is putting on impressive showings every time he sets foot on the mat. The freshman out of Salinas was one of the top finishers for the Oaks, one of two men to reach the championship match. Competing in his 125 bracket, he began his tournament with an 11-3 major decision over Logan McDowall of Bethany. 16th-ranked Christopher Sharp of Marian was up next, and Siason won with another decision, this time 6-4. Joe Lupton was his quarterfinal opponent, and in another tight match, Siason won 4-3, moving him to the semis.
This is where things got very interesting, and very dramatic. Montana State-Norhtern’s Rob Pair was the opposition, and a late escape with three seconds on the clock sent the match to overtime. Right on the edge, Siason was able to get a takedown and secure his spot in the championship match with a 10-8 win. There, #2 Sawyer Miller of Indiana Tech was able to get the best of Siason by way of an 11-3 major decision victory, ending the thrilling run from Siason. In just his freshman season, Siason is shaping up to be an exciting man to watch for years to come.
Four is Fun
While his finish might not have been the highest of the day among Oaks, something sure lit a spark inside Devin Everk. Competing in the 149 bracket, Everk led all Menlo wrestlers on the tournament with four pins. Right away, he got tasked with taking on #19 Seth Johnson of Missouri Valley, and right away he pinned him in the first period at 2:29. Everk then pinned Dawson Hunt of Reinhardt to move him into his next match against Dakota Drenth of Morningside. To no one’s surprise with the way he was going, Everk won via fall at 4:15 to take on #15 Bailey Moore of Marian University. This match lasted only 1:44 before Everk pinned him as well, starting his tournament off 4-4 in the pin department. His next two matches ended in defeat, but he was still able to garner a sixth place finish thanks to his outstanding start.
There Were More Too
Anthony Orozco was the other Oak who finished in second, competing in the 184 bracket where he is ranked second in the nation. Orozco won his first four matches en route to the championship match, with two of them coming via fall and two of them from tech falls. #14 Dayton Brown was a victim to the last of Orozco’s pins, coming in the quarterfinal match, and in the semis, he got the tech fall over #5 Jacob Smith of Baker 16-1. The only man to beat him was #4 Antonio Stewart of Reinhardt, a 4-3 decision in the title match, and this earned Stewart Outstanding Wrestler honors for the tournament. It was just the second loss of the entire year for Orozco.
Another Salinas native, Alex Garcia won his third place match in the 165 bracket to finish as the third-best Oak in the field. A 22-8 tech fall win started the tournament for Garcia and then he pinned Steven Ray at 4:47 to move on to his third match. #10 Andrew Null was up in the quarterfinals and it led to a 6-4 decision win for Garcia. After getting pinned by the eventual runner-up in the semis, Garcia won his third place match over #14 Matt Landgraff of Oklahoma City 6-5.
#16 Bruce Valdez finished fifth for the Oaks after winning his final match of the tournament as well, coming in the 197 bracket. After opening with a pin-fall victory, he defeated #17 D’rell Gist 11-2 in a major decision. In the consolation bracket, Valdez scored a huge 16-0 tech fall victory over #13 Avery Buckman of Lindsey Wilson College, giving him a chance to place on the weekend. He did so by defeating #19 Jacob Henderson of Reinhardt 13-4 to cement his fifth place finish.
Menlo will return to California and take place in the California Collegiate Open, hosted by San Francisco State, on Saturday, January 26. This will be the final tournament for the Oaks before the CCC Championships on February 15-16.