FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Back on the competitive mats for the first time in three weeks, the Case Western Reserve University wrestling team placed ninth of 12 squads competing at the 2014 Citrus Invitational at Cardinal Gibbons High School.
Four Spartans placed at the two-day event. Freshman Aaran Gessic (Perry, Ohio /Perry) was third at 141 pounds, sophomore Nick Lees (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) was fifth at 174, junior Josh Hall (Galloway, Ohio/Bishop Ready) was eighth at 133 and sophomore Nate Lewis (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Kenston) was ninth in the heavyweight bracket.
Gessic went 4-1 for the tournament and improved to 13-1 as a rookie. After receiving a first-round bye, Gessic pinned the University of Mount Union's Nate Kirk in 6:01 then earned a 5-0 decision against Greg McCrystal of Western New England University (Mass).
Top-seeded Ryan Diehl of Liberty University (Va.) snapped Gessic's rookie win streak at 11 with a 6-0 decision, but he was able to bounce back in the consolation bracket with a 2-0 decision against Marcus Hamer of Augsburg College (Minn.) and a 2-1 decision versus Alex Kramer of Ursinus College (Pa.).
Lees finished the day at 3-2 with a pin (00:54), a decision and a medical forfeit. Hall, competing in his first extensive action of the year due to injury, won twice by decision. Lewis, 3-2 for the tournament, won the ninth-place bracket with a medical forfeit, an 8-6 decision and a pin in 2:07.
The Spartans are back in action at the annual Budd Whitehill National Duals on Friday and Saturday, January 9-10. Action begins each day at 9:00 a.m.