Sparta will face Bi-State division three team champions Weston/Ithaca tonight in a home dual at 730pm. Weston/Ithaca brings three ranked wrestlers to tonight’s dual including Nate Duren at 135 pounds who enters the dual as the 2nd ranked wrestler in division three. Duren finished second at state as a freshman at 103 pounds, fifth at state as a sophomore at 112 pounds and second place again last year at 135 pounds. At 119 pounds, Nick Laack comes in ranked seventh and at 125 pounds, Marcus McCauley enters as the second-ranked wrestler in the state.
This is a solid team up and down the lineup based on records alone. I’m not sure what competition Weston/Ithaca has faced, but they did have four wrestlers who placed at Bi-State. Marcus McCauley (4th at 125) led the way followed by Clayton Jennings (5th at 215), Duren (7th at 135) and Mitchell Ricco (11th at 171).
Some of the more interesting matches of the night should be at 112, 125, 140 and 215. At 215 pounds, the third-ranked wrestler in division two (Tom Tourdot) wrestles the fifth-place finisher (Clayton Jennings) at the Bi-State Classic. Tourdot enters with a 17-1 record while Jennings enters with a 15-3 record. At 125 pounds, Marcus McCauley (15-3, 4th at Bi-State) wrestles Derek VonRuden (12-6). After a slow start, VonRuden has really turned it up here in the last couple of weeks winning some impressive matches. He’ll need to have his A-game tonight. Of course, things can always get shuffled around and these matchups might not happen, but on paper these look to be the interesting matches of the night.
There will be a live blog of tonight’s dual led by Mike Montgomery. Action on the blog will start sometime between 715pm and 730pm while action on the mat is schedule to kick off at 730pm.