ROCHESTER, Minn. (Blugolds.com) -The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire wrestling team opened the 2018-19 season on Saturday at the Yellow Jacket Open, with 12 Blugolds coming away as place-winners.
Leading the way for the Blugolds was Jordan Blanchard (Fr. – Coleman, WI) who finished as the runner-up at 184 pounds. The newcomer finished the day with a record of 3-1.
Five other wrestlers finished third in their brackets. Thomas Severson (Fr. – Marathon, WI/D.C. Everest) went 3-1 at 125 and beat teammate and fellow newcomer Erik Gerovac (Fr. – Ashland, WI) in the final match of the day by fall.
At 149 pounds, David Dudych (So. – West Dundee, IL/Harry D. Jacobs) won by fall in the third place match, finishing the day with a record of 4-1 while Evan Lawrence finished third at 174 as did James Huntley (So. – Woodbury, MN/Stillwater) at 197 and Tyler Burt (So. – Beloit, WI/Turner) at heavyweight.
Also turning in strong performances for the Blugolds, Austen Hakes (So. -River Falls, WI) (285), Grant Balconi (Jr. – Muskego, WI) (184) and Chase Schmidt (So. – Rice Lake, WI) (165) all won their final matches of their tournament to finish in 5th place. Hakes and Schmidt led the team on the day in finishing matches with both tallying four pins in the tournament. In addition, Brady Bastyr (So. – Prior Lake, MN/Lakeville South) had a :14 fall to end a match early in the tournament.
Jack Marley (Fr. Trempealeau, WI/Gale-Ettrick- Trempealeau) earned a sixth place finish at 125 where all three Blugold wrestlers finished in the top 6. Jake Drexler (Fr. – Stratford, WI) started his Blugold career with an impressive 5-2 record on the day and finished 6th.
The Blugolds will stay on the road next week as they travel to La Crosse on Friday, Nov. 9 to take on the Eagles in their first dual of the season. Follow the Blugolds all season long on Blugold Game Day or on the 'UWEC Blugolds' app on your mobile device.