By Jake English
Student Writer

After five months of hard work and intense training, the Messiah Wrestling team is excited and prepared for the postseason. This weekend, the Falcons will hosting the NCAA Mideast Regional wrestling tournament. Having won the Regional Championship the previous year, the team is excited to be defending it on their home mat.

Preliminary and First Round matches for the tournament will begin at 9:00 a.m.

The year for Messiah has been marked by a great amount of success and only a few disappointments. The team is walking into the postseason ranked eighth in the country with an overall record of 20-1 and with four wrestlers ranked in the top ten of their individual weight class.

To ask senior and team captain Chris Williamson, the team is projected to have a great performance this weekend.

“I think we are going to have the best performance we have had all season,” he said. “If everyone does their job we will have a great day. We treat every competition like a rehearsal, but now it is time for the big show.”

Lucas Malmberg (125 lb.), Kaleb Loht (141 lb.), Larry Cannon (157 lb.), and Josh Thomson (184 lb.) are all favored to place in the top three in their weight class to qualify for the National Tournament. Additionally, there are some freshmen on the team that are ready to make a statement.

“Our freshmen are going to surprise some people at Regionals” said Williamson.

Freshmen Derek Beitz, Ben Swarr, and Kyle Koser have all been having their best performances as the season has gone on. Each of them placed in the Wheaton Invitational at the end of January, which is a notably tough tournament.

Eight teams from the Mideast Region–Mount Union (#7), Messiah (#8), Baldwin Wallace (#13), SUNY Brockport (#19), Lycoming (#20), York (#21), Waynesburg (#25) and Ohio Northern (#29)–are ranked in the NWCA Top 30 for Division III and will be among the teams competing at Sunday’s tournament.

With the combined effort of the seasoned veterans and the talented freshmen, the Falcons hope to qualify as many as nine wrestlers to the National Tournament which is taking place at the Giant Center in Hershey in two weeks. They have prepared, they have trained, they have rehearsed.

Now, it is time for the big show.

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