Spartan Wrestlers Open Season at Messiah Invitational; Pyciak Runner-Up at 197

Rylan Pyciak
Rylan Pyciak

GRANTHAM, Pa. – Competing for the first time under Interim Head Coach Chris Nader, the Case Western Reserve University wrestling team opened the 2011-12 season at the annual Messiah College (Pa.) Invitational on Saturday at Hitchcock Arena. The Spartans placed eighth as a team.

Individually, sophomore Rylan Pyciak (Rayland, Ohio/Buckeye Local) placed second in the 197-pound bracket with a 2-1 record, losing only in the championship match by a score of 7-6. After receiving a first-round bye, Pyciak picked up a 6-3 decision versus Patrick Jennings of Wartburg College (Iowa) and a 7-6 decision versus top-seeded Taylor Gload of Ursinus College (Pa.) to advance to the finals.

Three other Spartans posted 2-2 marks on the day, including senior captains Cale Harter (Mount Pleasant, Mich./Mount Pleasant) in the heavyweight class and Kyle Weaver (Delaware, Ohio/Olentangy) at 157 lbs.

Harter opened the day with a 5-0 decision against Steven Paul of Elizabethtown then advanced following a medical forfeit before falling twice.

Weaver received a bye into round two where he earned a 5-1 decision over Henry Tucker of Elizabethtown College (Pa.). After losing a close decision, he rebounded in the consolation bracket with an 8-6 victory versus Woodie Herman of Elizabethtown.

Junior Evan McDowell (Bellaire, Texas/Episcopal) was also 2-2 at 141. The third-year Spartan fell in the opening round, but rebounded to win two consolation bracket matches with an 8-0 major decision versus Ken Nakagawa of Elizabethtown and a 9-0 major versus Wes Litton of Messiah.

The Spartans are back in action this Friday, November 11 with a dual match at cross-town rival Baldwin-Wallace College at 7:30 p.m.