While many UChicago students spent their break relaxing and escaping the cold Chicago temperatures, the UChicago wrestling team continued its season by participating in the Chicago Duals, a six-team, one-day meet on December 30. Chicago faced three difficult opponents: Alma College, Marian University, and Harper College. The competition was no match for the Maroons, as they decimated all three schools, defeating them by an average of almost 28 points. An incredible group effort of individual wrestlers ensured that the Maroons as a team would not be beaten.
The Maroons started out the day slowly—their first opponent, Alma College, managed to take three of the first four matches, giving them 12 points and an early lead. Unfortunately for Alma, those 12 points would be the only points they would get for the remainder of the dual, as the Maroons systematically defeated their opponents in the final six matches, giving them a 37–12 win. Second-year Matt Shoub won at 174 pounds with a 9–0 score, which largely summarized the margin of victory that the Maroons had in those six matches against Alma.
Against Marian, the Maroons took the lead and never looked back. Second-years Steve Bonsall and Kyle Peisker followed up the first three forfeits in the dual by winning big, with Bonsall crushing his 157-pound match, winning via a 16–0 technical fall, while Peisker came away in his 174-pound match with a 21–5 technical fall victory. Another standout performance was a fierce defensive effort by second-year Kahlan Lee-Lermer at 165 pounds, shutting out his opponent in a 3–0 victory. The Maroons would end up victorious by a score of 40–12.
The final match was the biggest blowout of the day, as the Maroons won by 30 points against Harper. Third-year Louis Demarco came away with a 12–0 major decision at 133 pounds, while Peisker won 15–0 with another technical fall. Both fourth-year Nick Ferraro and first-year Will Britain pinned their opponents, leading the way for a 37–7 victory and a final 3–0 record for the day.
The Chicago Duals marks the beginning of a period of heavy action for the Maroons. The competition was the first match for the Maroons since the beginning of December, with the team having had most of the month off. The Maroons will not have the luxury of such a long break anymore, as the season begins to really get going. In January alone, the Maroons host two home duals against Wheaton and North Central and also participate in the Elmhurst Invitational, the Wheaton Pete Wilson Invitational, and the National Division III Duals. The Maroons, in fact, just finished competing at the National Division III Duals in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on January 4. The team defeated its first opponent Heidelberg 23–18 before being blown out by UW–Whitewater 56–0. The Maroons ended the day with a 24–17 victory against Wilkes in their final match of the competition.
The next home competition for the Maroons wrestling team will be January 10 against Wheaton at 7 p.m.