MT. VERNON, Iowa – The Simpson wrestling team had a strong showing at Cornell's Matman Invitational on Saturday, placing fifth of 14 teams and placing five wrestlers in the top six.
Jacob Mize placed third at 157 pounds and Jonathan Melton took fourth at 149 to lead the Storm, who scored 68 points as a team. Zach Johnston (133), Devan Berrian (141) and Brett Roberts (174) all placed sixth.
Mize enjoyed a 6-1 day in the 157-pound bracket, picking up six straight wins after suffering a first-round loss. He earned a pair of pins before getting back-to-back one-point decisions to advance to the consolation championship. In the final he added a third-straight one-point win, edging Augsburg's Grant Parker 6-5.
Melton continued his recent string of success with a 3-2 showing in the 149-pound bracket. The freshman earned two straight decisions to advance to the semifinals, where he lost a tight, 3-1 decision to Will Keeter (Augsburg). He pinned Matt Sears (Augustana) in the consolation semifinals but lost an 8-1 decision to Jimmy Davis (Loras) in the third-place match.
Of the sixth-place finishers, Berrian was poised to wrestle for a championship before injury kept him from completing the tournament. The freshman started the day 3-0 but needed to forgo the semifinal match due to injury, dropping him to sixth place.
Johnston went 3-2 at 133, earning all of his wins on the back side of the bracket after losing his first match of the day. Roberts went 3-3 at 174, earning a 29-second pin in his second-round win over David Kramer (Luther).
Simpson hosts one half of the annual Iowa Conference duals on Saturday, Jan. 24. Simpson will face Coe, Loras and Luther at Cowles Fieldhouse.
1. Wartburg, 149.5; 2. Augsburg, 128; 3. Augustana, 96.5; 4. Stevens Institute of Technology, 78.5; 5. Simpson, 68; 6. Cornell, 58; 7. Luther, 56.5; 8. Wis.-La Crosse, 47.5; 9. Wis.-Eau Claire, 39.0; 10. Central, 26; 11. Coe, 21; 12. Lakeland, 18; 13. Loras, 13.5; 14 Grand View, 0.