Wrestling places sixth in conference tourney

Dakota Zanin, Sports Writer

The UW Oshkosh wrestling team scored 78.5 points at the 65th Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship on Feb.14, falling a half point shy of tying fifth-place UW-Stevens Point, who scored 79 points.

The hosting UW-La Crosse wrestling team won the championship, scoring 157 points en route to their fourth straight title, and 19th overall in school history.

Freshman Denis Murphy (125 pounds) and junior Jordan Lemcke (285) achieved the highest finishes for the Titans, with both placing third at their respective weights. Murphy was seeded fifth at 125 pounds and Lemcke was seeded second in the heavyweight bracket.

The Titans had nine place finishers in all, including freshman Brandon Lenczner placing fourth at 149 pounds, while sophomore Eli Mondrella (141), sixth-seeded senior John DePersia (184) and fourth-seeded senior Colten Cashmore (197) finished in fifth place.

Freshman Luc Valdez (125), sophomore Muzi Sitshela (157), and freshman Guyon Cyprian (285) finished in sixth place in their weight classes to round out the Titans’ place finishers. No Titan finished higher than third place.

DePersia received additional honors as UWO’s representative on the All-Sportsmanship team.

Murphy acquired a 3-1 record throughout the tournament, including a 10-1 major decision victory over UW-Eau Claire’s Jack Marley to capture third place, Murphy’s second contest against Marley during the tournament. Murphy’s one loss was to the eventual champion Mike Tortorice, in an 8-0 major decision.

Lemcke also recorded a 3-1 record, which included a 4-1 decision victory over UWEC’s Noah Carter for third place. Lemcke also finished in third place at 285 pounds in last year’s championship.

Lenczner finished the day with a 2-2 record after a 7-0 loss to UWLC’s Sam Wenzel in the third place bout. Lenczner recorded a 3-2 decision victory against UW-Whitewater’s Dakarai Clay and a 12-7 victory against UWEC’s Tyler Vanderlois.

Mondrella culminated a 3-2 record after receiving a fifth place finish due to a medical forfeit by UWW’s Cole Walkington. Mondrella’s other two victories included an injury default over UW-Platteville’s Chase Katzenmeyer and a 1:54 pinfall victory over UWSP’s Anthony Kanable.

DePersia also acquired a 3-2 record in the 184 pound bracket, including a 13-4 major decision victory over UWP’s Jacob Sklenar for fifth place. DePersia finished sixth at 197 pounds in 2018.

Cashmore finished 2-2 at 197 pounds to capture fifth place after defeating UWW’s Nick Sundberg 5-3 in a decision victory. Cashmore has finished in the top-six four times, including fifth at 174 pounds in 2017, fifth at 184 pounds in 2018 and sixth in 2019 at 184.

The UWO wrestling team will next compete in Minneapolis, Minn. in the NCAA Division III Upper Midwest Regional at Augsburg University on Feb. 28 and 29, where the top three finishers in each weight class will move on to compete in the NCAA D-III Championship.