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Falcons Fly Into Record Books With Win At Lycoming
Posted: 1/20/2012
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Williamsport, PA — Traveling to Lycoming on Friday night meant only one thing for the Messiah wrestling team: a chance to make history. All they would have to do is beat Lycoming at Lycoming, a feat never accomplished by a Falcons' wrestling team.

Well, scratch that one off the list.

For the first time in program history, the Falcons of Messiah defeated rival Lycoming College in a match hosted at Lycoming. It it on the third time in wrestling program history -- all accomplished in the last four years. It's also the second time in a row the Falcons have come away with the dual win, including last year's 26-11 win in Grantham.

"It's a good time to be a Falcon," said Messiah head coach Bryan Brunk. "It was a hard-fought dual, and we're excited to come away with a huge win for our program."

The Warriors jumped out to a quick start as Stephen Hilton earned a major decision over Messiah's Danny Lethbridge in the 125 class. Freshman standout Kaleb Loht put the Falcons back on track with his own major decision in the 133, knotting the score at 4-4. Soophomore Victor Bracey followed Loht with a 9-3 win over Caleb Willey, collecting three consecutive takedowns to control the match.

Lycoming responded in the 149 class with Lucas Wisniewski defeating Chris Williamson, who was filling in Ty Kanouff.

"Williamson battled hard, but fell just short," said Brunk, whose team was tied with Lycoming 7-7 after the first four matches. "But from there, we just took over."

Senior Chris Hardenburg put the Falcons in the winning direction with a 5-1 win over Brian Watkins. The match turned for Hardenburg in the last seconds of the first period as the collected a takedown and never looked back.

Sophomore Ricardo Plummer followed with a 9-4 decision over Greg Wetzel, with senior Matt Cross earning a second-period pin to put all the momentum in Messiah's corner. Including Friday, Cross leads the Falcons with 12 falls on the season.

In the 184 class, senior Tim Stewart dominated Tyler Cunningham, with sophomore Charles Jones and junioor Russell Jones splitting Messiah's last two matches as they sailed to a 25-10 victory.

"Lycoming cared about this match as much as we did," said Brunk. "We have a lot of respect for their team, and they worked to the last second of every match."

In all, the Falcons won seven out of the 10 weight classes to earn the historic victory.

"Our guys are really happy with the win, as you can imagine," said Brunk, whose team moves to 10-6 on the season. "We're excited for how this group is wrestling. We have a lot of work to do-- learn from our mistakes and sharpen things up a bit. But we're excited to get the win."

The Falcons will have a quick turnaround as the team looks forward to the Messiah Open on Saturday, January 21.

After this weekend's competition, the Falcons will travel to Wheaton College (IL.) for the Wheaton College Invitational. The team returns home on Friday, Feburary 3, when they host Johns Hopkins in a dual set for 7:00 p.m.

Messiah 25.0 - Lycoming 10.0
125 Stephen Hinton, LYCO, maj. dec. Danny Lethbridge, MESS, 13-1
133 Kaleb Loht, MESS, maj. dec. Zachary Finn, LYCO, 14-3
141 Victor Bracey, MESS, dec. Caleb Willey, LYCO, 9-3
149 Lucas Wisniewski, LYCO, dec. Chris Williamson, MESS, 5-1
157 Chris Hardenberg, MESS, dec. Brian Watkins, LYCO, 5-1
165 Ricardo Plummer, MESS, dec. Greg Wetzel, LYCO, 9-4
174 Matt Cross, MESS, pinned Joshua Gochnauer, LYCO, 3:30
184 Timothy Stewart, MESS, dec. Tyler Cunningham, LYCO, 7-1
197 Russel Korbul, LYCO, dec. Charles Jones, MESS, 9-3
285 Russell Jones, MESS, dec. Samuel Batchelor, LYCO, 6-4