WHEATON, Ill. – After the first day of action at the oldest and largest small-college wrestling tournament in the country, the University of Chicago wrestling team impressed with five wrestlers still in contention at Wheaton College's Pete Willson Invitational on Friday.
The annual two-day invitational features 39 teams, 11 nationally-ranked squads and more than 260 wrestlers.
The No. 18-ranked Maroons fielded seven wrestlers in the draw. Junior Kyle Peisker provided the top performance on the team with a 3-0 record on the day to advance to the semifinals at 174 pounds. After securing a first-period pin, the No. 2-seeded Peisker added a 4-2 decision and a 12-0 major decision to his ledger.
At 165 pounds, junior Kahlan Lee-Lermer reached the quarterfinal round where he was topped 6-0 by the top seed from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Prior to that, he strung together three-straight close decision wins with scores of 5-3, 3-2 and 11-9.
Jason Crary advanced to the quarterfinals with a 3-1 record on the day. The sophomore also put up three decision victories at 157 pounds (5-4, 6-4, 4-3). He then ran into the No. 1 seed from University of Mount Union, dropping a 14-3 major decision.
Despite early losses, seniors John Jayne and Patrick Mulkerin bounced back with strong results in the consolation bracket. After losing his initial 184-pound match by a 4-2 margin, Jayne ripped off three-straight pins which all occurred in the first period. Mulkerin pinned his opening opponent at heavyweight before a 6-4 setback. He then followed up with consecutive pins of his own.
"Thirty-nine teams, 11 hours of wrestling and only one of our wrestlers seeded in the top eight – we were pleased to get five of our seven entries to the second day," said Head Coach Leo Kocher. "The field has been narrowed to the top 12 in each weight class, and Saturday's competition will rank first through eight at each weight."
- Saturday, Jan. 26 @ 10:00 AM – UChicago at Wheaton Pete Willson Invite