By Zachary Bowers and Nick Porter
LEXINGTON, Va. – At the Jim Crytzer Invitational, held at Washington and Lee University, the Southern Virginia University wrestling team took fifth overall with a third-place finish from Keaton Gomez and fourth-place finishes from Gordon Whitaker and Alexander Brunner.
Aaron Freidhoff started things off for the Knights in the 125-pound weight class. After falling in a pair of decisions, he defeated Scranton's Jake Thompson in the fifth-place match by fall in just under five minutes.
At 141, Jayson Cody defeated Averett's David Shelton by fall (5:00) before he was pinned by Scranton's Nick Ciacci in the second period of the quarterfinals, and fell in the third period of his consolation match.
In a full 149-pound bracket, Christopher Fletcher defeated his first opponent with a pin in 4:26 before advancing to the quarterfinals over Scranton's Kevin Pompillo by a major decision, 11-3. Fletcher was pinned (3:19) in the round of sixteen by Lane Householder from Kent State and fell 6-4 in his consolation bout.
Representing the Knights in the 174-pound weight class was Keaton Gomez, who finished third in the bracket after falling to the consolation side in the first round from a 10-6 decision of John Carroll's Blake Dixon. Gomez defeated Kent State's Jared Torch by fall at 2:57, before winning the third-place match by a 10-6 decision over Scranton's Zach D'Apolito.
Gordon Whitaker was the only Knight to make it into a semifinal match of the Jim Crytzer Invitational. Whitaker dominated Averett's Triston Kechter, winning by a technical fall (18-2). Whitaker was defeated by major decision (11-2) in the semifinal but placed fourth overall after defeating Washington & Lee's William Kuenne by fall at 4:43, and falling in the third-place match by a 9-6 decision of Scranton's Patrick Deacon.
Quigley Whitaker and Matthew Speelman both competed in the 197-pound bracket, with Speelman defeating his teammate in an 11-9 sudden victory win. Speelman went on to pin Averett's Seth Wilson in 1:49, and then place sixth overall with a 21-6 tech fall loss to St. Andrews' Tyler Evers in the final consolation match.
Alex Brunner finished fourth in the 285-pound weight class. After Brunner was pinned (2:24) by Mathew Kaminer from Washington and Lee, he pinned Averett's John Reid in the first period, advanced again by injury default and knocked off Scranton's Will Oxley in a 10-3 decision. Brunner fall 10-5 in the third-place match.
The Knights will be back in action on Saturday, Jan. 13 at the Will Abele Invitational in Collegetown, Pa. at 9:30 a.m.