Blugolds finish 3rd at UWEC Invite
The 25th annual UWEC Wrestling Invitational ended in grand style for the Blugolds, who finished in third place with 66.5 points.
Eau Claire finished behind UW-Parkside and conference rival UW-Stevens Point, who won the meet with 74 points.
The ‘Golds finished ahead of four nationally ranked teams–Augsburg (Minn.), UW-La Crosse, UW-Platteville, and UW-Oshkosh, who are 2nd, 6th, 19th, and 27th, respectively.
Seniors Davey Starks (125 pounds), Adam Kolo (197 pounds) and Chris Muller (157 pounds) all advanced to the final round of the tournament. Junior Nick Campbell (heavyweight) also made an appearance in the final round.
Coach Don Parker said it was great having four wrestlers from the team make it into the last round of the tournament.
“This is the 25th invite I’ve hosted,” Parker said. “Any time that you have a home match, it’s to your advantage.”
Muller said that he enjoys the home crowd and all that they bring with them.
“The crowd makes you feel good out there,” he said. “It’s my last meet at home so it’ll definitely be one that I’ll cherish.”
Starks came into the meet with a perfect 20-0 record and looked to improve on it. He started off the tournament with a pin. He advanced to the next round where he won an 8-3 decision.
In the finals match, Starks came out with a 7-4 decision to win the 125 pound weight class.
Starks improved his record to 23-0. He is second in the nation for his weight class.
Kolo also found success in the invite. Two of his first three matches were won by pins in under two minutes. He advanced to the final round, but dropped a 3-1 decision to take second place in the 197-pound weight class.
Muller’s first three rounds were successful as well. After a first-round bye, he won on a pin and then with a 4-0 decision. Muller’s success ran out as he lost in the final round, 10-5.
Campbell was the fourth Blugold to advance to the final round, but he shared the same fate as Kolo and Muller, dropping the final match. He made it through the first three rounds through three decisions, only sacrificing one point, which came in his 2-1 victory in the third round.
“We did as good as we could have done in the tournament,” Parker said. “If we wrestle like this come conference, we will do well.”
“Our finish (in the tournament) is a step in the right direction,” Muller said. “It’s a great confidence builder.”
Eau Claire will travel to UW-La Crosse Tuesday night for a chance to beat the WIAC-leading Falcons.
“If we keep working hard,” Muller said, “we can keep getting better.”