PELLA, Iowa – Jonathan Melton won the championship at 149 pounds to lead four Simpson placewinners as the Storm took third place at the Central Under Armour Invitational on Saturday.
In addition to Melton, Simpson's placewinners included Jason Clark (2nd, 157), DeVaughn Scott (3rd, 197) and Brett Roberts (4th, 184). The Storm finished with 62.5 points, behind champion Central (131.5) and second-place Wartburg (81.5).
Melton won his second tournament title of the season, adding to his win at Simpson's own Luther L. Hill Invitational on Dec. 12. The sophomore went a perfect 4-0, getting a pin and a tech fall before beating Wartburg's Blake Meyer 8-3 in the semifinal. He went on to shut out Morningside's Steven Garcia 4-0 in the championship.
Clark started his day with a pair of pins before scoring a 12-3 major decision over North Iowa Area CC's Jakubb Fahrenkrug in the semifinal. He faced a second NIACC wrestler in the first-place match, falling to Quincy Kalkbrenner 11-7. It's the highest tournament finish in Clark's collegiate career.
Scott advanced to the semifinal with a pair of close wins, beating Hannibal-LaGrange's Nigel Burnett 7-5 in overtime and edging Briar Cliff's Jordan Watkins 3-2. He lost to Central's Matt Seabold in the semifinals, then pinned NIACC's Tyler Larson. In a rematch from earlier in the day, Scott beat Briar Cliff's Watkins 5-3 in the third-place match.
Ranked eighth in the latest NWCA poll, Roberts cruised to the semifinal with a pin and a tech fall. He lost a 2-0 decision against Wartburg's Brendan Schott in the semis, stopping his winning streak at 10 matches. He blew out Morningside's Caleb Deemer 17-1 in the consolation semifinals, but got pinned by Davenport's Dillon Francisco in the third-place match.
Up next: Simpson goes to the Cornell Matman Invitational next Saturday, Jan 16 in Mount Vernon.
Simpson Team Report
125 – Chase Erickson, 0-2
141 – Anthony Derrick, 1-2
141 – Zach Johnston, 2-2
149 – Jonathan Melton, 4-0, 1st place
157 – Jason Clark, 3-1, 2nd place
165 – Garret Jay, 2-2
165 – RJ Brown, 2-2
174 – Spencer Ward, 1-2
174 – Damon Piatt, 0-2
184 – Brett Roberts, 3-2, 4th place
197 – DeVaughn Scott, 4-1, 3rd place
285 – Colby Vlieger, 1-2
1. Central, 131.5; 2. Wartburg, 81.5; 3. Simpson, 62.5; 4. Morningside, 61; 5. Briar Cliff, 60; 6. North Iowa Area CC, 55.5; 7. Graceland, 51.5; 8. Davenport (Mich.), 42; 9. St. Olaf, 30.5; 10. Hannibal-LaGrange, 26.5; 11. William Penn, 17.5; 12. Ozarks, 3.5