Morgan, ranked sixth in the country in his weight class, placed the highest of any King wrestler at the competition finishing second at 197 pounds. The senior beat his first three opponents by a combined score of 40-4 on his way to the title fight. Morgan crushed his first opponent, Kevin Gaughan (University of Indianapolis), by technical fall, 17-1. He followed with a second straight double-digit victory by defeating Matt Dwyer of Lincoln College, 16-3.
Nationally-ranked (No. 4) Matt Baker of Maryville stood between Morgan and a title bout, but the Maynardville, Tenn. native overcame the obstacle and beat Baker in a 3-2 decision to advance him to the title bout. In the championship match, No. 1 Dan Scanlan (Limestone) met Morgan in a tight title bout but Scanlan escaped the victor in a 3-1 decision.
Freshman Tywan Claxton took third place at the 141-pound division and took a similar path as his teammate to earn his medal. The Cleveland, Ohio native rolled over the competition in his two matches defeating them 7-0 and 8-0. Claxton, ranked fourth in the Super Region 2, shut out Duane Richardson (Upper Iowa) and Mitch Arnold (Newman) before being beaten by Ethan Raley (Lincoln College). He then fought back into the third place game by defeating Dustin Dooley (Fort Hayes State University), 9-4 to build a rematch against Arnold for rights to third place. Claxton disposed of Arnold, 5-1, to earn the third place medal. This is the second time this year Claxton has finished in the top-three of a tournament.
Nic Stella (Sweet Home, N.Y.) took fifth place at the 149-pound division of the Classic. After going 2-1 in his first three matches, the redshirt-junior rebounded with two consecutive wins, including a 10-8 overtime win against Vince Gualtieri (Tiffin). Art Hobley (West Liberty), was forced into a medical forfeit, granting Stella the fifth place finish.
At 184 pounds, Brandon Tressler (Orlando, Fla.) left the Classic with a seventh place finish. He split his first four matches of the tournament and defeated Derrick Williams of West Liberty in the seventh place match, 3-1, for the medal. Tressler entered the tournament ranked second in Super Region 2.
King, currently ranked 15th in the country, placed eighth in the 25-team field, scoring 64.5 points. Newberry College took top honors with a 117.0 score. The Tornado finished ahead of regional rival Limestone College (63.0) and No. 10 Ashland University (55.0).
"We did some good things today and had a couple good finishes today," said Head Coach Nate Moorman. "This was a pretty tough field to compete against but to see Frank [Morgan] come back like he did and other guys place is great for them and the team. We are all looking forward to the break to rest, recuperate and get focused for the National Duals."
The Tornado now prepare for the NCAA Division II National Duals, held in Chicago, Ill., on Jan. 6. Following the National Duals the Tornado will begin regular dual meets, beginning with Ashland University (Ashland, Ohio) on Jan. 15.