The Maroons managed to scrape by with a win against the No. 25 Wheaton Thunder. Wednesday’s dual meet was billed as a close encounter, with the Maroons coming in with a No. 23 ranking. Those predicting a close showdown were not disappointed. While the Maroons were able to jump out to an early lead, the Thunder managed to continually chip away at it throughout the night.
The meet began with a forfeit by the Maroons at 125 pounds, giving the Thunder a quick 6–0 lead. That would be as much as the Thunder would lead by for the rest of the night, as the Maroons proceeded to triumph in the following five matches, effectively turning the tide of the match. Third-year Louis Demarco and second-years Kahlan Lee-Lermer and Steve Bonsall all won major decisions contributing to the UChicago comeback. First-years Alec Gleason and Chaise Hauck also won decisions adding to the comeback. Those victories were enough to give UChicago a commanding lead of 18–6, giving the Thunder little hope of winning.
While lesser teams may have given up, Wheaton wasn’t finished just yet. Instead of capitulating, they proceeded to make a ferocious comeback against the Maroons, somehow getting victories at the next two weight classes, picking up a win by decision and win by pin. Were the Maroons about to let a huge comeback happen? With the Thunder knocking on the door, the Maroons turned to third-year Jason Lynch at 197 pounds to close out the match and terminate any remaining vestiges of hope that the Thunder had of winning.
With the result of the dual meet on the line, Lynch came through for his squad, as he won in a close battle by a 5–3 decision. Even though the Thunder were able to win the final matchup in a 3–2 decision, it was not enough to complete the comeback. Lynch’s victory had ensured that even a Maroon loss in the final weight class of the night would not be enough for the Thunder to win, despite their valiant effort.
Although the final score was close, third-year John Jayne came away feeling that the result was well-deserved. “We came in expecting to win and we were not disappointed,” said Jayne. “We had a couple unlucky losses during the dual, but overall I felt that we dominated. Our impeccable front head technique gives us an edge that the other teams can’t handle.”
Next up for Maroons wrestling is the Elmhurst Invitational this Saturday, where the Maroons will look to continue their winning ways. Jayne is looking forward to the occasion, as he feels that the team has a good chance to perform well and really showcase what the Maroons can do: “I think we’ll ride the wave of positivity from our last few meets into the Elmhurst Invitational and give a good showing.”