February 15 2018
Last Thursday, Feb. 8, the Wheaton Wrestling team finished fourth overall in the 2018 CCIW Wrestling Championships. The Thunder had four wrestlers finish in the top three in their respective weight classes.
Wheaton finished fourth in the championship with 96 points. North Central College won the 2018 CCIW Team Champion title by scoring 123.5 points. Millikin University finished second with 114.5 points, and Elmhurst College, the defending CCIW Team Champions from 2017, finished in third place with 100 points. Milwaukee School of Engineering, Concordia (Wis.), Augustana College and Lakeland College finished fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively, in the team competition.
Senior Carlos Fuentez won the 125-pound CCIW Champion title and became the first Wheaton wrestler to win the 125-pound weight class since 2001. Fuentez had a first-round bye before his semifinal victory over a Concordia (Wis.) wrestler in a 16-0 technical fall. Then, in the championship match, Fuentez won a 13-1 major decision over a North Central wrestler to secure his first place finish.
In the 157-pound competition, junior Jonavan Huggins finished second overall in the conference. Huggins also had a first-round bye and won a close 9-8 decision in the semifinals to advance to the championship match. Huggins lost a 12-3 major decision to North Central’s 157-pound wrestler.
Senior Caleb Odell finished third in the 174-pound weight class. After a strong victory by fall at 2:23 in the first round, Odell lost a 7-3 decision in the semifinal which sent him to the wrestleback round. Odell wrestled back into contention for a third place finish after he pinned an Elmhurst wrestler at the 2:51 mark. To win third place, Odell pinned Millikin’s 157-pound wrestler at the 3:53 mark.
Odell’s sophomore brother Isaac Odell also got a third place finish in his 184-pound weight class competition. After receiving a first-round bye, Isaac Odell was defeated by a Millikin wrestler in an 18-10 major decision. In the wrestleback round, Isaac Odell won by a pin at 1:05 before sealing a third place finish with a 3-0 decision over an Elmhurst wrestler.
Senior Tim Blickle and junior Max Gierke placed fourth in the 197-pound and 285-pound weight classes, respectively.
Wheaton’s Wrestling team will compete in the NCAA Division III Upper Midwest Regional which will be hosted by Augsburg University in Minneapolis, Minn. on Feb. 23-24.