By James Vallone
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The Shorter wrestling team attended its season-opening tournament, The Citadel Open, on Saturday at McAlister Field House. The event included over 275 wrestlers from 25 schools from around the Southeast region.
T.J. Duncan led the Hawks, going 4-1 and finishing as the runner-up in the 157-pound division.
Duncan pinned Austin Helm of UNC-Pembroke in just 58 seconds in the first round, scored 6-2 and 4-1 decisions over Michael Swindell (unattached) and former Hawk Robbie Collum (Brewton-Parker) in the next two rounds and pinned Jacob Fregia (unattached) in the semifinals to reach the 157-pound championship.
There, Duncan lost to Gardner-Webb's Austin Trott, but not before showing well in his first action as a Hawk.
Chris Rowland finished runner-up in the 285-pound weight class, advancing to the finals with the help of pins in the first two rounds, then by winning decisions in the next two rounds. Rowland bowed out in sudden victory to Chris Giddens of UNC-Pembroke in the 285-pound final.
Gabriel Bird took fourth in the 157-pound class and Jared Rector posted a seventh place finish in the 174-pound weight class. Rector lost to eventual 174-pound champion Cody Ryba of Campbell in the quarterfinals.
Also competing for Shorter at The Citadel Open were Jonathan Rodriguez, Michael O'Neal, Joshua Lansdell, Jesse Jones, Brandon Dyer, Mason Ellis, Seth Broome, Jamari Davis, Joseph Hinchman, and Ryan Lauderbaugh.
Shorter's wrestlers are back on the mat this weekend when they compete in the Patriot Open in Williamsburg, Ky.