INDIANAPOLIS — The No. 4 Newberry Wolves were led by a pair of tournament champions to earn their fourth straight championship at the Midwest Classic hosted by the University of Indianapolis on Sunday.
B.J. Young at 141 pounds and Matt Wade at heavyweight won the championship in their bracket, while five other players finished in the top eight of their weight class.
The Wolves have now won five of the tournament’s 35 meetings, all in the last six seasons.
Young pinned UIndy’s Justin Kieffer 20 seconds into the second period of the semifinal match to advance to the championship bout. He then was the victor in one of the highest-scoring matches of the season, taking a 26-17 major decision over UNC Pembroke’s Daniel Owenby, who is ranked one spot behind Young in the national rankings. It was Young’s second victory over the UNCP wrestler this season.
Wade advanced to the finals match with a 5-3 decision over Trine’s Mackenzie Green and won his tournament championship with a 3-2 decision over Tiffin’s Kevin Christman, who is ranked fourth nationally.
Jeff Vesta finished as the tournament runner-up at 125 pounds. In the semifinals, he pinned Maryville’s Brandon Oshiro 43 seconds into the second period of the match. In the finals, UIndy’s Alex Johns defeated Vesta by a 5-2 decision in a battle of nationally-ranked grapplers. Johns would go on to earn Most Outstanding Wrestler honors for the tournament.
At 157 pounds, Taylor Knapp earned fourth place. He was defeated by the NAIA’s No. 1 wrestler — Joe Cozart of Lindsey Wilson — by major decision in the semifinals. In the consolation semifinals, Knapp earned a 10-8 decision over King’s John Austin Jones and in the third place match he dropped a 15-9 decision to McKendree’s Josh Ballard.
Seiji Borja earned sixth place at 149 pounds, pinning Joseph Moorhouse of Maryville early in the second period of his first consolation match of the day. Unfortunately, Borja was pinned twice in his next two matches to finish sixth.
Joe Pittman at 174 pounds and Jared Holliday at 184 pounds each finished in eighth place at their respective weight classes with a pair of losses on the day.
The Wolves are now off until Jan. 4 when they host Coker in dual action.