BRISTOL, Tenn. – King College Men's Wrestling displayed two second place finishers and one third place finisher at this weekend's King College Open, held in the Student Center Complex. Freshman Madison Martin continued his early run of success with a third place finish while Garrett Fosdyck and Nic Stella both were runners-up in their respective weight classes, leading the way for the Tornado. A total of nine King grapplers placed in the top-6 of their respective weight classes.
Heavyweights Garrett Fosdyck and Billy Swanson (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) gave King two podium finishers in one weight classes as the two battled it out in Sunday's day-long tournament. Fosdyck, a redshirt sophomore from Mathews, Va., went the distance and earned second place in the 285-pound division after making a straight path toward the finals bout. He began his day with a big win by decision over Limestone's Aaron Rowe (10-4) before going on to a major decision win (14-3) over NCAA Division I wrestler Denzel Dejournette of Appalachian State. Fosdyck pinned Kenny Mason (Brewton Parker) just 49 seconds into the bout before matching up against teammate, Billy Swanson.
Swanson's path to the 285 semifinal bout included a pair of decisions after pinning his first opponent, Steven Salvatore of Limestone College. He went on to beat Deandre Johnson (Ferrum) 6-1 and earned a 2-1 decision win on a tiebreaker over Matthew Colter (Newberry).
In the semifinal bout, the dynamic duo met up but Fosdyck took care of the Swanson with a pin in just 53 seconds. With the win, Fosdyck advanced to the finals bout to take on Justin Kozera of Gardener Webb. The two went the distance but in the third round, Fosdyck fell by pin and placed second overall. Swanson advanced to the consolation quarterfinals and earned a fifth place finish.
Senior Nic Stella (Sweet Home, N.Y.) made a strong run through the 149-pound bracket with four wins out of the gate to put him in the finals. His first two bouts turned into easy victories after a 12-3 major decision over Paul Briggs (Ferrum) and a fall over Aaron Booker (Newberry) in the second period. Stella earned a 10-4 victory over Jeremiah Lutz (Brewton Parker) before being matched up with Newberry's Shawn Landgraff. Stella came out on top in a 5-3 decision win but lost in the finals to Deral Brown (Newberry) for second place finish.
Freshman Madison Martin had a very strong start to his day in the 125-pound bracket, pinning Immannuel Henderson (Brewton Parker) early in the second round and then followed with an 8-0 major decision over Limestone's Sam Murph. His second test from the Saints came from Brandon Harrison when after three periods the two were tied 8-8, forcing an overtime session. Martin scored a two-point play early to take the win, 10-8 and advance to the semifinal round. Eventual runner up Vito Pasone (Appalachian State) delivered a 13-9 loss, placing Martin in the consolation bracket where the Ringgold, Ga. native continued his run to a podium finish. He narrowly defeated Zach Bridson (Chattanooga), 10-9, to advance to the third place bout where he edged Appalachian State's Andrew Nie, 6-4.
Freshmen John Jones (Alabaster, Ala.) and Reggie Adams (Memphis, Tenn.) both advanced to the semifinal round of the 157-pound division and combined for five pins between them to that point. Adams defeated Michael Ross (Cumberlands) and Cody Cooper (Ferrum) both inside the first period. Jones won by fall over Ish Walker (Ferrum), Jacob Huggins (Limestone), and Austin Trott (Limestone) all in the first period, as well. Adams lost his next three bouts but finished sixth. Jones earned his fourth pin of the day over Oliver Broadest (Life) before losing to Austin Trott in the third place bout.
At 174, freshman Jesse Masters (Alabaster, Ala.) earned a fifth place finish after going 4-2 in his bracket. After winning his opening bout by pin (1:09) over Sean Bateman (Cumberlands), he fell into the consolation bracket with a major decision loss to eventual champion Travis Sheehy (Newberry). Masters put together two more pins, both in the first period, to be placed in the fifth place bout against Ridge White (UNC-Pembroke), which he won by medical forfeit.
In all, King placed 10 wrestlers inside the top-6 of their respective weight classes. Nationally-ranked wrestler Tywan Claxton did not participate in the King Open.
King will return to the mat for its third open tournament of the season when they travel to St. Louis, Mo. for the Kauffman/Brand Open. The open will be held on Dec. 1 and hosted by Maryville University.