The MMI wrestling team travelled to the University of South Florida this past weekend to compete in the host school's pre-season dual tournament. Marion, coached by Jim and Dave Hazewinkel, finished 3-0 and won the USF Pre-Season Duals trophy. The University of South Florida-Gold team earned runner-up status with a 2-1 record while the University of North Florida placed 3rd in the meet at 1-2.
Marion faced the USF-Green team first and rolled to a 66-0 win. Marion's Tyrone Carter posted a first-period pin as did five of his teammates in Jeremy Beesley, George Stagg, Michael Whalen, Foster Wade, and Trom Peterson.
USF-Gold and MMI faced off in the second round of the dual tournament. The match was initially close before MMI pulled away for the overall dual win 47-9. The team score was 11-9 after the 149-lb match, when USF-Gold's Martin and MMI's Stagg faced off in a pivotal match for the Tigers. With the match tied 6-6 going into the 3rd period, Marion's Stagg chose bottom and Martin scored two nearfall points. Stagg reversed Martin with 40-seconds left and pinned him for the win. After MMI's Whalen recorded a 15-5 major decision over USF-Gold's Sorisa to make the score 21-9, USF-Gold's Jefferies and MMI's Thomas were battling it out with a 6-5 Thomas lead in the second. Thomas took Jefferies down and pinned him to make the team score 27-9.
The last match of the day was between MMI and University of North Florida. MMI capped off their day with a 52-3 win with bonus point wins by DeAndre Beck (13-3 major decision), Stagg (3:49 fall), Whalen (0:13 fall), Thomas (2:30 fall), and John Long (3:30 fall). UNF's Vieira was the lone Osprey to score team points, winning a close back-and-forth 9-7 decision over Taivon Lucas with 10-seconds left.