King wrestles to ninth at Midwest Classic

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The King College men's wrestling team finished ninth after the final day of the 32nd Annual Midwest Classic Sunday with four Tornado wrestlers placing.

The team totaled 57.5 points for ninth. King beat host Indianapolis and West Liberty, ranked No. 14 among NCAA Division II teams, who shared 10th four points behind the Tornado. The team finish was the highest for King in the last five years of attending the highly contested event. The only other NCAA Division II Super Region II team was Ashland (Ohio) University, the fifth-place team at the event. Newberry (S.C.) was team champion with 169 points, 36 more than Upper Iowa.

King started with nine wrestlers, five of which were ranked, and four Tornado wrestlers earned Top-8 finishes.

The top seed of the 197-pound division, King's Frank Morgan (Maynardville, Tenn.), finished third. He was upended in the semifinals by eventual champion Carl Broghammer, from Upper Iowa. Morgan regrouped to beat Trine University's Alex Fleet for third.

Patrick Spano (Tampa, Fla.) ended up fifth within the 165-pound bracket. Spano, the No. 5 seed, defeated Indianapolis' Jeff Weiss in the final match of the day for the two. Spano was sent to the wrestle back bracket by top-seed and champion Ohio Northern's Luke Miller.

Dondricus Anderson (Macon, Ga.) lost the fifth-place match of the 285-pound bracket to No. 2 seed Jacob Southwic, from Ashland. Anderson was the No. 6 seed to start the event.

Freshman Cullen King (Memphis, Tenn.) captured seventh among 125-pound wrestlers. He was unseeded and had to start the event against No. 2 seed Trevor Franklin (Upper Iowa) on Saturday.

"We're pleased to see the guys making progress and proud of the young stepping up to fill in the lower weights at a tough tournament," said head coach Nate Moorman. "The guys are positive about the direction we're headed, but we have to continue to work hard to get everyone in the practice room to buy into our system. Once they all believe in how capable we are, the sky is the limit."

The event features 21 teams from NCAA Division II, Division III and NAIA squads from around the country. King finished ahead of NCAA Division II teams from Limestone (S.C.) College, Central Missouri, Lake Erie College, Truman State University, Tiffin University and Newman University.

King will return to action Jan. 7-8 at the Virginia Duals in Hampton, Va.