NAPERVILLE, Illinois – Freshman Drew Matticks was runner-up at 165 pounds to mark his third-straight top-three finish to start his career and lead the MSOE wrestling team in action at the North Central Invitational Saturday.
The Raiders scored 42.5 team points to take 12th among 15 teams. They finished just 2.5 points back of CCIW foe Wheaton in 11th.
Matticks won his first four matches of the day to work his way into the first-place match, falling on riding time, 5-4. He had battled to tie the score at 4-4 with an escape with just two seconds remaining before the deciding point. His day started with an 8-4 win, then a fall in 3:55. He edged his next opponent 7-5 and then shut out a foe 7-0 in the semifinals.
The runner-up finish comes after another second-place finish at the Dan Gable Open and a third-place showing at the MSOE Invitational last weekend. He won his final four matches at the home tournament to carry an eight-bout winning streak into the first-place contest Saturday. He improved to 11-3 on the season.
MSOE also had two more wrestlers take fifth place in their brackets in sophomore Jack Rathburn at 157 pounds and freshman Duncan Heath at 197 pounds. Meanwhile, freshmen Alex Moran and Helton Vandebush combined on seven wins between them.
Rathburn picked up back-to-back wins to start his day in the championships bracket, 9-3 and 8-4. He went to the consolation bracket after a loss by fall and then slipped into the fifth-place match via an 18-2 loss. He then claimed fifth by forfeit.
Heath opened with a 7-3 loss before finding his way into the fifth-place bout after a tough 4-3 loss and a defeat by fall. He then claimed fifth by a medical forfeit.
Despite not placing, Moran had a strong day at 165 pounds. He won four matches on the day, starting with a 5-3 decision in his first bout. After a fall sent him to the consolation bracket, he rebounded with three-straight victories. After a 12-2 win, he won 12-6, and then by medical forfeit. His day ended with a fall in his next contest.
At 174 pounds, Vandebush rebounded from an opening 17-7 loss for three-straight major decision victories. That run started with a 12-0 shutout and continued 12-4 and 16-6. He then saw his day come to an end with a defeat by fall.
The Raiders cap 2017 with a dual meet against longtime league rival Concordia Wisconsin on Friday at the Kern Center.