This weekend the Maroon wrestling team, currently 6–3, is traveling to Elmhurst College for the Al Hanke Invitational. After a busy break of dual matches and tournaments, this invitational serves as a nice transition back into academic and athletic life.
Coming into the invitational, several members of the team have had very successful winter breaks. The Maroons went 2–2 at the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) National Duals, and first-year Cole Riemer had an impressive showing, going 3–0 and earning a win over the No. 1 individual wrestler in the nation from Augsburg University, last year’s NCAA runner-up. His performance earned him University Athletic Association Athlete of the Week honors. Third-year Steve Bonsall is currently enjoying a seven-match winning streak. A robust team effort pushed the South Siders to a win over No. 20 Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a close loss to No. 9 York College. Additionally, the team went 3–0 at home in the Chicago Duals, defeating Manchester, Wabash, and Mount Saint Joseph’s. Fourth-year Pat Mulkerin, third-years Steve Bonsall and Kahlan Lee-Lermer, and first-years Ben Sarasin and Maguire Pecci all went 3–0 on the day to secure the team’s wins.
According to Bonsall, the time spent training and preparing over break was well worth it. “We spent three weeks grinding throughout winter break, perfecting our technique and sharpening our conditioning,” Bonsall said. “We certainly saw it pay off at national duals and I know if we carry the attitude we had over winter break we’ll see continued success! We’re wolves on the hunt for national titles and All-American status, and I’d say, from what we’ve already accomplished, we’re on the right track.” The wrestlers will kick off the Al Hanke Invitational at 9 a.m. this Saturday.