ATHERTON, Calif. – Following a three-match sweep at the Menlo Duals one day earlier, #4 Menlo College Men's Wrestling continued to lay it down on the opposition during the Menlo College Invitational. The event has been a tradition as long as the Men's Wrestling program has been around at Menlo College, and the Oaks usually show up in full force. Saturday was no exception as two wrestlers from Menlo took first place and five others placed in the top four. #4 Brian Ha and #7 Javier Gonzalez defeated all wrestlers in their paths in the 133 and 285 weight classes, respectively. Among the other high finishers for Menlo were Troy Lakin at 125 lbs., Blaysen Terukina at 133 lbs., Jared Luty at 133 lbs., Jeff Uyesaka at 149 lbs., and Tyler Noon at 184 lbs.
Menlo College dominated the 133 lbs. weight class, claiming three of the top four finishers with Ha as champion, Terukina as the runner-up, and Luty fourth. Ha started off the day with a major decision victory over Jarren Komac of Great Falls and picked up a pin over Terran Libolt of Eastern Oregon at 1:48. His spot in the finals was secured after picking up a decision win over Joshua Crager and then he would wait for his opponent. His opponent was going to be a Menlo wrestler regardless, as Terukina and Luty would square off to determine Ha's opponent in the finals. Terukina won in a standard decision, 9-4, and advanced to the finals to face Ha. A grueling final match took place between the two men, but Ha got the better of his teammate en route to the 3-0 victory and the first-place honors in the class. Luty lost to Vincente Hernandez from Simpson in the consolation bracket, but still earned fourth place honors.
#3 Troy Lakin began his day in the 125 lbs. weight class in the quarterfinals after receiving a first-round bye. He defeated Joshua Johnson from Warner Pacific, an opponent he took down yesterday, 7-5 to earn a spot in the semifinals where he defeated Brandon Betencourt 8-5, locking down a spot in the championship match. His final match came against Sergio Mendez, where Lakin suffered a setback and fell 16-7 in a major decision. Mendez wrestled the event unattached and earned first place honors, while Lakin would have to settle for the runner-up spot.
Jeff Uyesaka spent his day in the 149 lbs. weight class and won his first match via tech fall 16-0 over Travis Vermulm of Great Falls. His next match did not end in his favor as he was pinned by Khristian Olivas of Fresno State at 2:02. This quick defeat was avenged in the next match as he took down his teammate, Rogelio Bravo, by standard decision, 8-3. In the battle for third, he was pitted against Vermulm once more, and Vermulm got his revenge. The match ended via tech fall, but this time for Vermulm, as he defeated Uyesaka 18-3, landing Uyesaka in the fourth spot.
#11 Tyler Noon lost his first match in the 184 lbs. weight class to Sohrab Movahedi, wrestling unattached, 11-7. His day turned around in the upcoming matches, making quick work of Noe Garcia in the second match, pinning him at 1:57. Another convincing decision went in favor of Noon after he took down Alex Cruz of Warner Pacific 5-0. The shutouts kept rolling in his third consecutive win after he won via tech fall over Joe Dickinson of Warner Pacific 15-0. The third-place match was against Ryan Anderson, and it sure was entertaining. Anderson and Noon went into overtime after both men went back and forth with takedowns. It would be Anderson besting Noon in the overtime period, earning the 10-9 victory, and sending Noon into fourth place.
Javier Gonzalez was the Menlo representative in the 285 lbs. weight class, and he made a lasting impression on the field. Gonzalez opened up his day with a victory over Trevor Rasmussen of Stanford 8-2, earning a spot in the semifinals. Austin Lobsinger stood in his way before he reached the finals, and Gonzalez grinded out the win 2-1. The final match of the day came against Josh Hokit of Fresno State, and Gonzalez won via pin fall at 1:30. The surprising pin resulted in a raucous roar of the crowd and celebration from his coaches and teammates. His outstanding performance on the day also led him to receive Outstanding Upper Weight Wrestler of the Tournament honors.
The University of Great Falls took first place in overall team score with 121.5 points. Menlo College finished just behind at 106 to take second place and Fresno State finished third with 55 points. A short break is on the way for Menlo College Men's Wrestling, as they will not compete again until January 15 against Embry-Riddle.