Wrestling Strong at UNI Open

MSU Wrestling had a strong showing this past Saturday at the Northern Iowa Open. Senior John Rizqallah and redshirt freshman Javier Gasca both took first at this weekend’s open tournament.

Rizqallah (184 pounds) defeated Tyler Hoffman of Iowa Central Community College in the first round by way of a major decision, 14-1, then proceeded to shut out Luther College’s Matthew Chlebek. In the semifinals, Rizqallah defeated Jayden Devilbiss, another Luther College wrestler, by a slimmer margin of 13-10. Rizqallah took first place via a medical forfeit by Northern Iowa’s Cody Caldwell.

Javier Gasca improved his record to 12-2 on the year after winning all four of his matches this weekend. Gasca pinned his first two opponents (John Erneste of Missouri; Gareth Ballard of Luther College), then proceeded to get a 13-2 major decision over Wisconsin’s Jens Lantz in the semifinal match. Gasca then went out and beat Northern Iowa’s Josh Alber by a score of 10-3 to take the title.

Mitch Rogaliner took second place at 125 pounds. Rogaliner won his first three matches before losing 10-5 to Minnesota State Mankato’s Da’Wayne Robertson in the first place match.

Joining Rogaliner with a silver medal was Roger Wildmo at 157 pounds. Wildmo stacked three straight wins to get to the first-place match against Iowa State’s Luke Goettl, but ended up falling by a score of 5-3.

At 174, senior Nick Proctor reached the semifinals, but lost to Iowa State’s Logan Molina by a score of 5-3. Proctor fought back in the consolation bracket and pinned Northern Iowa’s Kyle Lux. However, Proctor lost to Wisconsin’s Ben Cox in the third-place match by a score of 4-2.

This was the final competition of 2014 for the Spartans, they will return to the mats Jan. 4 at home in East Lansing against Bucknell.

Nick Carver is the host of Pinned Down for Impact Sports

Photo: Hannah McEnroe/Impact Sports