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Wrestling Approaches Final Stretch of Season
Hannah Schutter
Staff Writer

Although wrestling is on its way out of the Olympics, Spartan wrestling is still in full swing.

This past Tuesday’s wrestling meet at Trine University in Angola resulted in four wins for the Manchester Spartans. Although MU ultimately lost 28-16 to the Trine Thunder, first-year Kalib Jackson’s win (8-0) over Trine’s Nick Ader helped give Manchester a fighting chance. In addition to Jackson, Spartan wins from Bryce Roberts, Jason Pedigo and Chuck Holmquest ensured Manchester made its mark, and this match ceremoniously marked Holmquest’s fiftieth career win.
Along with Trine’s meet, the Spartans wrestled at Wabash College on Feb. 7, with Manchester being defeated 4-46. Jackson’s defeat over Wabash’s Robbie Carter resulted in the only points earned by Manchester. “I feel like a lot of guys didn’t wrestle up to their potential,” said Ray Wajda, a first year Spartan wrestler.  Due to injuries, three weight classes had to be given up. The unfortunate medical circumstances mixed with a predominantly rookie team is making it a tough year for the guys. Manchester’s wrestling roster lists 22 athletes, 14 of which are first-years. But, there is hope for a better Spartan wrestling future.“As long as that [first years] group sticks with it, the best is yet to come,” Wajda said.

In order to prepare for the Mid-States Conference that was held at Alma College in Michigan on Feb. 16, the wrestling team did the opposite of what might be assumed: they made practices shorter. Although this seems to go against the norm of preparation routines, the decision was well thought out. “We were trying to peak at the right time,” said Josh Jaurez, a first-year wrestler.

Although the team was hoping to reach their full potential, some Spartans did not peak. The men earned 20 points at the Mid-States Conference putting them at seventh place.

Next up for the Spartans is a home meet against the Mount Saint Joseph Lions on Feb. 21, the season concludes soon after with regionals and championships.

The end of the wrestling season  also shuts the book on senior college wrestlers’ careers due to the removal of wrestling from the Olympics, starting with the 2020 Olympic Games.

Because there is no minor or major league for wrestling, the Olympics are these athletes’ only chance at continuing their sport after their education ends. The only chance wrestlers have at going pro is with organizations like the WWE, which as the name states, is more entertainment than a contest of athleticism.

With the removal of wrestling comes the removal of the chance to wrestle at the Olympic Center, limiting wrestling experiences for these athletes. Although wrestling was a founding sport of the Olympics, it does not seem to matter.

“How is speed walking an Olympic sport?” Wajda asked.

Although the removal cannot be explained, hopefully this unlucky occurrence will cause the Spartans to relish and maximize their potential at the limited amount of experiences they are given.


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