Westminster Men at MO Valley Open

The Missouri Valley Men’s Open has been traditionally one of the toughest regular-season tournaments in the state of Missouri for college wrestlers, if not the Midwest as there were teams from all three NCAA levels (Div. 1, 2, and 3), NJCAA teams, and a significant contingent of NAIA schools (including the host Missouri Valley).  

Among the teams in attendance, more than a handful of them are ranked team-wise in their respective division. From the NAIA, there were the #1, #9, #15, #22 and #23 ranked teams. (Grand View, Ottawa, Missouri Valley, Oklahoma City Univ., and Baker Univ.) From the NCAA Div. 1 Level, there was the #2 Missouri Tigers and the #9 ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers. From the NCAA Division 2 level, the #1, #19, (Central Oklahoma and Central Missouri). And from the NJCAA rankings the #6 team, Indian Hills C.C.  

So this tournament means that the Westminster Blue Jays would have opportunities to test and refine their skills before heading into the postseason competition part of their season starting in just two weeks. And tested they were throughout the day. At the end of the day, 4 of the Blue Jays picked up at least one win and two of them reached the podium.  

Highlights:

At 184 lbs, Freshman Austen Wetzel continues to score points in bunches in his matches. During his first two rounds, he would put 34 points on the board against his opponents to reach the semi-final round. His semi-final match would be against a Division 1 wrestler from the University of Nebraska. Wetzel was only down 1 point heading into the final period but was unable to generate any offense in the third period after scoring 7 points in the first two. He ended up losing the match 12-7 and was sent to the consolation side of the brackets. Wetzel would bounce back and win his consolation semis via pin and wrap up his day with a 7-4 win over Missouri Native Luke Shaver (Lindenwood).

At 197 lbs. Senior Montgomery Mills looked to be back to his dominant form as he secured 4 pins (all in 90 seconds or less) throughout his bracket. He would pin his first opponent from Midland but would lose his quarter-final matchup to the wrestler from Mizzou via tech-fall. Mills would bounce back quickly by securing a tech fall of his own in his first 

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Written by Jonathan Bowen

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