Four grapplers place to lead Midway wrestling at King Open
The Midway University wrestling team was back in action Sunday, Nov. 11, traveling down south to Bristol, Tenn. to compete in the King Open hosted by King University. No team scores were kept during the event, but 20 grapplers got valuable mat time and experience. It was just the second-ever event for the inaugural Midway wrestling program after the Eagles opened their season last Saturday at the Patriot Open. “This was another good weekend for our guys,” said Coach Jake Brumbelow. “We got what we needed which was mat time and experience.” Brumbelow added, “The guys are buying into the process and getting better each week.” The Eagles had four different wrestlers that placed in the event with Michael Eldridge taking fourth at 184 pounds, Michael John Harris taking second at 149, Ray Karl Irving taking third at 197 and Richard Almodovar taking second at 184. Eldridge, a sophomore from Versailles posted a 2-2 record at 184 pounds on his way to a fourth-place finish. After a loss in the quarterfinals, he picked up a pair of victories over Pedro Daher and Grayson Spell of Coker College to advance to the third-place match. Eldridge then dropped a 3-2 decision to Darius Rutland of King University. Harris rebounded from a tough week by posting a 2-1 record en route to a second-place finish at 149 pounds. The sophomore from Birmingham, Ala. opened with a pair of victories to advance to the championship match. Harris first pinned Gerron Poston of Bluefield College and then won a 4-3 decision over Dalton Flint of Emmanuel College. He finished second after falling in a 5-0 decision to Jody McAlister of Reinhardt University. Irving, meanwhile, also chalked up a 2-1 record at 197 pounds on his way to a third-place finish. After receiving a bye, Irving dropped to the consolation after a loss in the semifinals. The freshman from Lexington then defeated teammate, Tyler Little, before garnering a 3-2 decision over Donnell Solomon of Bluefield in the third-place match. Rounding out the placers for the Eagles was Almodovar who posted a 3-1 mark en route to a second-place finish at 184 pounds. The junior from Bradenton, Fla. posted a pin over Jacob Booth of Bluefield before picking up a 13-7 decision over Seth Bell of Emmanuel to advance to the semifinals. Almodovar then won by forfeit over Grayson Spell of Coker to advance to the first-place match. He then took second after suffering a loss in the championship match. Finishing just a couple of rounds short of placing were the freshman duo of Austin Pumphrey and Kevin Ixpanel. Pumphrey picked up two victories at 141 pounds, while Ixpanel also collected two wins in the heavyweight division. Four other wrestlers also picked up a win at the King Open including Brett Shea and Michael Parker at 125 pounds; Robert Dominguez at 149; and Jackson Araneta at 157. Also seeing action on Sunday was James Taylor, Billy Gordy, Dymond Smith, Alaeldin Gibril, Anigius McIntyre, Sterling Griffin, Isaiah McDougal, Tyler Little, Gavin Hunt and Carl Whitehead. Midway is back in action Saturday, Nov. 17, when they travel to Findlay, Ohio to compete in the Findlay Open hosted by the University of Findlay.