Waynesburg University hosted McDaniel College and Washington & Jefferson for a tri-match Wednesday evening in the Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse. The Yellow Jackets didn’t wrestle their I-79 rival, but they won’t wait long and will be wresting the Presidents Jan. 23.
Instead, Waynesburg focused on McDaniel, who came into the match on a four-match losing streak. A depleted front end of Waynesburg’s lineup gave McDaniel hope, but in the end, the Jackets’ depth proved to be too much for the Green Terror.
“The back end stepped up big tonight,” senior captain Dillion Charlton said. “We had some guys out and the bottom half of our lineup is young, but they scrapped hard when we needed them to.”
The teams exchanged forfeits starting out the match as freshman heavyweight Rocky McGeary picked up a win for Waynesburg, and Nick Malinoski grabbed one for McDaniel.
With the match starting at 133, freshman Harley Constable added on to his strong sixth place finish at the Waynesburg Invitational with a 5-3 victory over Steven Pabon. Fellow rookie Noah Grossnickle returned to the lineup at 141, but Ryker Eckenbarger added his second pin of the day for McDaniel.
In the 149 pound class, the Green Terror extended their lead with Maryland State Champion Raymond Kable beating Matt Lascola 9-4. Colby Morris’ return to the lineup was much needed for Waynesburg, as he picked up a 8-4 win over Alexander LaVeck.
After Morris’ win, the Yellow Jackets trailed by three. Then Waynesburg got hot, winning all but the last match of the night. First, Zach Mackall pinned Garrett Vanderwalk in the first period at 165. After that, Caleb Baxter defeated another Maryland High School State champion in Michael Bromley by four.
“It was great to see us get on a roll with Colby, Mackall, and Baxter’s wins.” Charlton said.
At 184, Charlton continued momentum from his second place finish at the Waynesburg Invitational with a 17-0 tech fall over Gabe Dennis. Charlton feels that his season is finally starting to shape out how he wanted it to.
“It feels good that everything’s coming together full circle,” he said.
In the last match of the night, senior Dan Verhovsek bumped up a weight class to 197 and took on a D1 transfer in Tony Wuest from North Carolina State. Wuest, who is ranked eighth by D3wrestle.com, beat Verhovsek 10-1. Despite the loss, Charlton was impressed by the senior’s performance.
“Dan went up and scrapped pretty hard with a ranked wrestler and wrestled him very tough,” Charlton said. “It feels good to know that we have a strong lineup the whole way through.”
The final score of the match was 26-18, and in winning, the Jackets extended their streak to four matches, and handed McDaniel its fifth straight loss. With the win, Waynesburg’s record moves to 4-3 and McDaniel’s record falls to 5-5. The Yellow Jackets look to have continued success as they visit Hampton, Virginia this Saturday for the Virginia Duals.
“All the hard work that the guys and myself are putting in has been starting to show and it’s nice to see the results you want when you’re working hard,” Charlton said.