Wheaton, Ill. -- The Wheaton Thunder wrestling team scored a big victory at home on Tuesday night, winning a dual match with Elmhurst College 30-14. Elmhurst, the 2013 Division III National Runner-up, is ranked 15th in the most recent National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Division III Coaches Poll. Wheaton is also ranked in the same poll, earning a spot at No. 22 in the poll.
Thunder head coach Jim Gruenwald noted after the match, "If you look at Elmhurst, [coach] Steve Marianetti has put together a top-10 team on a consistent basis. In my five years at Wheaton they have shown up with a strong team every year. They are a solid team and to get this win is huge for our program." He added, "This puts us on the map as being a legitimate team. It is a good win, especially coming off of our loss last week to Alma."
Elmhurst won the first two matches, however Wheaton freshman Jared Fekete evened things up with a victory by fall at the 4:46 mark of his match at 141-pounds with Elmhurst's Matt Quigley. Elmhurst followed by winning the ensuing match at 149-pounds by technical fall.
Wheaton put together five wins over the next five bouts. Junior Mark Savenok started Wheaton's streak winning in a fall at the 5:05 mark of his match at 157-pounds against Nick DiNardo. Freshman Stephen Aiello won a 15-0 technical fall (7:00) against Elmhurst's Steve Myers at 165-pounds. Thunder senior Matt McCrary pinned Elmhurst's Stephen Kunca just 25-seconds into their match at 174-pounds.
Junior Dan Olsen faced Elmhurst's Danny Balderas at 184-pounds. The pair was tied 2-2 after two periods and battled through a scoreless third period to send the match into overtime. A takedown by Olsen in first overtime garnered the 4-2 decision for the returning All-American. Thunder senior Mitch Steed earned a win in a 12-3 major decision against Bryce Sellers.
Wheaton College 30, Elmhurst College 14*
125-pounds: Tyler Price (Elmhurst), def. Tom Foy (Wheaton), 16-14 decision
133-pounds: Miguel Venecia (Elmhurst), def. Gregory Manfredi (Wheaton), 15-2 major decision
141-pounds: Jared Fekete (Wheaton) def. Matt Quigley (Elmhurst), by fall (4:46)
149-pounds: Ryan Prater (Elmhurst) def. William Byrd (Wheaton), 17-0 technical fall (6:40)
157-pounds: Mark Savenok (Wheaton) def. Nick DiNardo (Elmhurst), by fall (5:05)
165-pounds: Stephen Aiello (Wheaton) def. Steve Myers (Elmhurst), 15-0 technical fall (7:00)
174-pounds: Matt McCrary (Wheaton) def. Stephen Kunca (Elmhurst), by fall (0:25)
184-pounds: Dan Olsen (Wheaton) def. Danny Balderas (Elmhurst), 4-2 decision (OT)
197-pounds: Mitch Steed (Wheaton) def. Bryce Sellers (Elmhurst), 12-3 major decision
285-pounds: Danny Vargas (Elmhurst) def. Taylor Gohn (Wheaton), 4-1 decision
*- Elmhurst was deducted one team point for team misconduct