Spartan wrestling launches season with a dominating performance

By Adam Zipple

EAST LANSING, Mich.–The Michigan State wrestling team kicked off the 2017-18 season by hosting the Michigan State Open.

Twenty three high-level teams converged at the Jenison Field House on Sunday for the event. Among those teams was Big Ten Conference competition from top programs such as No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Michigan.

Other top competitors in attendance included Northwestern, Illinois, Indiana, No. 6 Arizona State and in-state rival No. 20 Central Michigan.

2017 marks the second season under head coach Roger Chandler, who is in his 21st year on the Spartan wrestling staff.

The Spartans began their 2017-18 campaign with a dominating performance with 14 medalists across the freshman, sophomore and open divisions.

Three Spartan freshmen took titles in the freshman/sophomore division. The champions were Jaden Enriquez at 141 pounds, Nathan Atienza at 157 pounds and Cameron Caffey at 184 pounds, all of whom were undefeated at 5-0.

Freshman Rayvon Foley claimed four wins, ending the day in second place at 125 pounds.

“We have been working really hard in the wrestling room and we brought that intensity out here today,” Foley said.

Foley is a very promising young wrestler out of Ann Arbor, Mich. He was a 2017 state champion, becoming the first champ from Pioneer High School since 1989.    

Redshirt freshman Jwan Britton was happy with his team’s performance on the mat.

“I’ve faced some tough competition today,” said Britton. “We’re doing pretty well, we have some kids in the finals for the freshman and sophomore division.”

Redshirt junior Javier Gasca had another outstanding performance at 141 pounds. He became a three-time MSU Open champion in the open division. Gasca ended the day undefeated, besting three ranked opponents with a total of five wins. Gasca showed incredible athleticism despite coming off an offseason shoulder surgery.

The Spartans will travel to the EMU Open on Nov. 11 in Ypsilanti, Mich.