INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Newberry Wolves put one wrestler into the semifinals at the 39th Annual Midwest Classic. Junior Austin Palmer is guaranteed to finish in the top six after the first day of competition.
After an impressive showing at the Newberry Open, Palmer returned to the mat with every intention to continue his successful streak. He started off his day with a 15-7 major decision win over Quam Jackson from Lake Erie.
In the next round, Palmer faced off against Findlay’s James Wimer, who is ranked fifth in the latest 157 lbs. class Super Region 2 poll. Findlay currently holds the No. 18 spot in the national rankings. Palmer dispatched of Wimer by fall with 13 seconds to go in the second period to advance to the next round.
In a marquee matchup, Palmer took on fifth-ranked Heath Lange of Indianapolis, the top 157-pound wrestler in Super Region 2, and secured a 10-6 decision to move on to the semifinals. Palmer was not taken down by Lange until the final 20 seconds of the bout while securing two reversals and two takedowns of his own.
Palmer moves on to the semifinals and will take on No. 12 Pernevlon Shepperd from University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Shepperd finished the day with a 17-6 major decision win against Central Missouri’s Danny Conley and also captured two decision victories against Maryville University’s Matt Pratt and Fort Hays State’s Ryne Cokeley.
In the opposing bracket is Lindsey Wilson’s Cam Tessari and Central Oklahoma’s Bryan Dutton. Tessari, who is ranked No. 2 at 157 in the NAIA, defeated Lindenwood’s Nate Trepanier, Beau Minnick of Tiffin and finished off with a win against Garrett Hall of Ashland. Dutton, the seventh-ranked 157-pounder in the country secured wins over Ohio Valley's Sam Phillips, Wheeling Jesuit's Dylan Taylor, and UNC-Pembroke's Eric Milks.
Tenth ranked Nolan Whitley (133 lbs.) went 2-1 in the championship bracket. He won by a 15-11 decision to Jody Sandoval II from Western State Colorado. He continued with a 7-4 decision against Limestone’s John Burger. In a tight battle, Whitley fought to the end, but came up short to No. 9 ranked Airk Furseth from Wisconsin-Parkside. He will continue competition tomorrow as he faces Lawrence Dudgeon from Ashland in the consolation bracket.
At the 285 lbs. class, Patton Gossett went on to take down Marian’s Ethan Bunce by a 1:50 fall. He fell in the next round to Newman’s Dalton Weidl by a 2-1 decision. In the consolation bracket, Gossett picked up two big wins, including a 4-3 tiebreaker win against Joseph Foret from Wisconsin-Parkside. With a 13-9 decision victory against Samuel DeSeriere from Western State Colorado, Gossett will face Ashland’s Deaken McCoy in the second day of the Classic.
Newberry returns to the mat tomorrow for the final day of the Midwest classic at 10:00 a.m.