Chicago had an impressive showing this past Saturday at the Lakeland College Duals in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The Maroons dominated each of the three schools it went up against, improving its dual meet record to 5–3.
“[The win] felt great, especially coming off a few tough losses last weekend,” said first-year Nick Ferraro. “It felt even better because the team as a whole won as well.”
This win would not have been possible without the outstanding performances of several Maroons.
During the squad’s closest dual of the day, against the Milwaukee School of Engineering, first-year Devan Richter and first-year Samuel Koenig earned first-period pins. In the second dual of the day against Lakeland College, Ferraro pinned his opponent in the first period, bringing home a win174-pound weight class. In the third dual, against the
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Richter earned a pin in the first period and Ferraro earned a technical fall victory at the 184-pound weight class.
Several teammates agreed that fourth-year Mario Palmisano was the standout of the day, as he went 3–0 in his matches.
“Palmisano won three out of three matches at heavyweight,” said Ferraro. “And that's really good because he hasn't wrestled heavyweight before and he's showing that he is a force to be reckoned with.”
All of this success would not have been possible without the intensive preparation the Maroons demonstrated during the practices leading up to the duals. “We practiced technique as well as live situations that we thought would be especially useful against these teams,” Koenig said.
The preparation itself was not the only thing that helped the team to its victory, however.
“I think we came into the meet really focused, and that helped us to secure an undefeated weekend,” said second-year Paul Papoutsis.
Chicago hopes to utilize their focus and high spirits during their preparation for the rest of the season’s matches. By analyzing their performances in the Lakeland Duals and figuring out how to build on them, the South Siders hope to have successful performances in the future.
“We're just going to keep working hard on areas that need fixing, this weekend showed us a few of those spots, and wrestle tough the rest of the season,” Papoutsis said.
Overall, the squad is very optimistic for the rest of the season.
“I think as a team we are starting to realize our true potential and the confidence factor has played a huge role in how we approached these last few duals,” said Ferraro. “We have a lot to work on, and we are far from perfect, but the difference in our wrestling from the first week of the season until now is staggering.”
The Maroons will take to the mats once again this Saturday at the Elmhurst College Tournament in Elmhurst, Illinois. Matches will begin at 9:00 a.m.