The Maroons had a strong showing at the very competitive Concordia Open this past Saturday in Wisconsin. Three Chicago wrestlers placed in the top eight of their weight classes, and many new faces performed well.
The Concordia Open is known to host tough competition. The Maroons’ strong showing at a competitive tournament so early in the season shows great promise for the team as they move forward.
“Concordia is one of the tougher tournaments on our schedule,” third-year David Gremling said. “It’s good to get it under our belt early, as it helps us gauge where we are, both as individuals and as a team, relative to top-tier competition.”
Individually, Gremling had a successful weekend, placing in the top eight of the 285-pound weight class. He went 4–2 with two pins. Steven Franke, another third-year, also placed in the top eight of his weight class, 184–pounds, by going 2–2 on the day.
Gremling is excited about the potential of the team after seeing strong performances by rookie wrestlers in the season’s first few tournaments.
“Our first years have been outstanding thus far, with several of them making strong contributions already,” Gremling said. “Nick Ferraro in particular has stepped up at 174 [pounds], already winning his match in our dual [meet] with North Central, placing third at Trine, and going 4–2 at Concordia.”
In addition to Ferraro’s performance, second-year Michael Sepke is showing equal promise for the Maroons. Despite his inexperience as a collegiate wrestler, after being injured all of last year during his first year, he took fifth place in his collegiate debut in the 157 -pound weight class. He went 5–2 on the day and won the fifth-place match 6–4. First-year Devan Richter also performed well in the 125-pound weight class.
Gremling also recognizes that the Maroons did well despite missing some of their best wrestlers due to injury.
“We saw some good things over the weekend and have reason to feel good moving forward, as we had some solid performances. In spite of having some key absences—[second-year] Charlie Banaszak, who was an All American last year, as well as [second-year] Paul Papoutsis, [first-year] Sunny Sharma, and [fourth-year] Mario Palmisano—were unable to compete due to injury or illness,” Gremling said.
Other notable contributions came from second-year Mike McNulty (149 pounds), third-year Brennan King (165 pounds) and third-year Ryan Walsh (197 pounds).
The Maroons’ next competition is at Wheaton College in Illinois on December 3.